Meaningful Digital Strategy: The Next Evolution of Marketing

Bob Gilbreath

November 12, 2009

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"Four years ago, I grew frustrated with the lack of brand investment in digital marketing and set out to understand the fundamental reasons why this promising new space was still only attracting a small sliver of marketers' multi-million-dollar budgets. I discovered that the issue was bigger than tiny click-thru rates and cautious organizations. Rather, there was a need for an entirely new way of approaching marketing strategy from the ground up. The interruptive, tell-and-sell model of slick ad copy and buying eyeballs by the thousands was already showing strain, and most digital advertising tactics were simply replicating this failing marketing model. I set out to discover an alternative path, starting with the handful of our clients that had put digital in the forefront of their strategy, and then broadening my vision to companies that seemed to be enjoying success with a completely different course. I found that these organizations had a common approach: People were choosing to engage with their marketing and they were using marketing itself to add value to their customers' lives. I called this approach 'Marketing With Meaning'and captured the model in a book that was recently released: The Next Evolution of Marketing: Connect with your Customers by Marketing with Meaning. This manifesto brings my search full circle, providing a supplement to The Next Evolution of Marketing that specifically focuses on how brand managers must reset their digital strategy to win customers in this new space."

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