Harness and Monitor or Die?

BrandWeek posted an Adweek piece earlier this month, “Study: Cyber Presence Key to Sales” (Link), that should be of interest to a wide range of people; not just brand advertisers and marketers. In particular, I found this excerpt relevant to many of the virtual world/product development topics I cover here:

“We are absolutely certain that marketing must urgently harness interactive media and the behaviors it induces. … Consumers expect every brand or service to present itself in some kind of online environment, and expect this presence to be of use or interest and to furnish a substantial or involving experience,” the study says. That experience lies at the heart of consumer engagement, one of the four “pillars” that the study lays out as a general framework for effective online marketing.

The other key pillars, per the study, are reach, reputation and transaction. Reach remains a prime communication objective, it states, and “brand advertisers in particular need digital media to replace audience they are losing in traditional media, and to add frequency against light television viewers.”

While interesting, there’s something about this article that rubs me the wrong way. I’ll return to that in a moment. In the meantime, I’ve highlighted words I believe are especially noteworthy. Here are a few relevant links:


– “Met’s Digital Simulcasts Proving Virtual Experience Profitable/Marketable” (reLink)

– “From Apples to Weeds: Design, Experience and Product Narrative” (reLink)


– “Importance of Place in Virtual Worlds” (reLink)

– “Nussbaum: Wrong Again” (reLink)

– “Product Design 2.0” (reLink)


– “Reputation Rules” (reLink)

– “Reputation Rebang In Progress” (reLink) followed by “Six Degrees of Reverse Reputation” (reLink)


– “Marketing to Fragments While Everything Else Converges” (reLink)

– “The Storytelling Continues” (reLink)


Now, back to what bothered me.

After reading that piece a few times I realized that what I found both curious and offensive was the kind of action imperiled marketers were instructed to take: “harness” and “monitor”.

Funny. I don’t feel like an animal. And I certainly don’t appreciate the idea of being monitored like a criminal.

Is it any wonder why so many advertising and marketing agencies can’t figure consumers out? especially if they’re reading these reports and industry rags? It’s like plantation owners trying to understand why slaves want freedom.

Well, here’s some advice: If you don’t respect consumers and treat them as equals, they’ll sense it and they’ll rebel. Then they’ll swallow you whole, chew you up and spit you and what’s left of your precious brand out on the floor.

Monitor that.

3 thoughts on “Harness and Monitor or Die?

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  2. Great response and write up. I think this is very superficial thinking and talking. Someone up there knows what to do but does not really know too much about it.

    I also had a nagging feeling when I read the blurb, but my feeling was more about market appeal. Not everyone has a computer, nor every one has access to the internet. I’m not saying dont go online, but consider understanding your consumer’s needs. This ties in to your statement at the end.

    Another point is you know how they say that when everyone knows about the stock market going up, it will probably drop? Well I was reading somewhere that this so called “Cyber Presense” is so saturated, and a huge information overload, that traditional forms of advertising is starting to look interesting again. These includes, low tech stuff like radio, man on the street selling, giving/hosting conferences, basically face to face selling. The trick is to get the right groups (such as pro-sumer bloggers) for the word to spread.

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