In Season 1, Episode 24 of Friends, called ‘The One Where Rachel Finds Out’ (I had to look that up, I don’t just drop that in like we all reference the show daily and it’s still 1997), Joey says to a lovelorn Ross, “Please. Move on. Go to China. Eat Chinese food.” To which Chandler responds, “’Course there, they just call it food.” It’s a great line, and put me in mind of something much less funny; digital marketing.
It’s kind of strange how everyone forgets that marketing doesn’t just exclusively happen on a screen anymore, as if there is no point delineating, as ‘everything is digital.’ Here at Jeroboams, as we buck the failing high street trend, we’ve been puzzling this area quite a bit of late. We’ve been chuffed at the success of our own door dropping (Christmas brochures) and the fact that our customers often actually read the wonderful (my review) printed pieces which we put in front of them. This certainly helps if they are adorned with a little cartoon, or something a tiny bit witty. We also do use digital platforms, sometimes really successfully, but we recognise the difference, in the same way that our customers do.
Just as the Co-op Bank has disbanded ‘digital marketing’ I heard a story of a recent big player in the US losing market share for ‘not buying billboards’ – a seismic step back. It’s not because ‘everything is now digital’, but far from it. Look at the success of a company we greatly admire, Freddie’s Flowers, for an example of how a little sleeves-rolled-up ‘direct marketing’ can be just the ticket, and not a black mirror in sight.
So, no, for us not everything in marketing is digital, it’s just one – useful – part of the mix. Here, as Chandler might say, we just call it marketing.
Ben Chatfield is Jeroboams’ Creative Director