The seventh edition of the Marketing in Direct (Marketing Live) conference, which took place on Thursday in Bucharest, brought together 13 top industry names but also a numerous audience eager to learn more about this domain. The event, already a tradition among marcomm specialists, focused on a topic of great interest, seeking an answer to the question “Digital marketing or offline promotions?”
“We are not selling to numbers, we are selling to human beings”
The main guest, and also the person who gave the opening speech at the event, was Chris Arnold, Former Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi, founder of the Creative Orchestra Agency and author of “Ethical Marketing & The New Consumer.”
In a brief but very consistent speech, he bombarded the audience with the results of surveys, the conclusion being that companies spend a lot on digital technology and online advertising, however Arnold’s advice was for marketing people to go back to basics, to understand first the psychology, because “we are not selling to numbers, we are selling to human beings.” He gave some amazing examples, for instance the fact that the age bracket that uses the online environment the most is the 35-45 age bracket, that 58 per cent of communication is visual, that 80 per cent of the people talk about brands in the real world, not online, and that 76 per cent of the people are interested in promotions because “no other being seeks to compete and to win like the human being.”
Likewise, “technology is not the idea,” Arnold claimed, explaining that people are in fact not as obsessed with technology as one might think. In fact, 88.5 per cent of retail spending is done offline. “Most promotions work in stores, on the shelves,” and people are not really interested in the big prizes, like a car, but more on second-level prizes, like a phone. Moreover, he added that most promotions work better in stores, on the shelves, and the offline audience is on the rise in the UK (with the exception of the written press). “People are social animals who like to socialize at shopping,” Arnold stated, revealing that “in the UK the supermarket is the new dating spot.”
In what concerns the best environment for advertising, Arnold pointed out that all the media can be effective, especially since in the UK television, radio, outdoor and podcast ratings are on the rise.
Another very important thing that the specialist shared with his audience in Bucharest was that it is good to take into account the fact that “people don’t want to be approached on the street or to be assaulted by messages trying to sell them something, instead they want to have the power to choose.” Thus, the “push” method is erroneous, the “pull” method being the correct one and consisting of interactive “engage before using” promotions.
Chris Arnold’s conclusion at the event in Bucharest was that marketing people have to insist more on offline promotions in order to be able to then invest in online marketing.