Online marketers prefer the hard sell.

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In a recent article by adweek, Jim Spanfeller, CEO of Forbes.com said, “Doing search marketing and point-of purchase displays all works, but it’s not advertising. It’s not about creating demand and improving brand metrics.” In a survey conducted by Forbes.com, top marketers said they use the web more for direct response type efforts like search and email campaigns and less for tactics that traditionally employ branding techniques like video and rich media. But maybe this is because in these economic times marketing and communication directors have a need to cover their asses with measurable results. So is branding dead online? Maybe for now. But I believe we are still in the early stages of being able to measure branded content like online video campaigns and interactive rich media efforts. Another factor that branding may not be as sexy online is our current economic situation. Marketing directors who want to keep their jobs are eager to show results more frequently so as to avoid the constantly swinging axe. This does not bode well for branding campaigns, which often take more time to benchmark, track and analyze over time. But I’ve seen these cycles before. Smart marketers will realize that you simply can’t put all your eggs in the direct response/instantly measurable basket to keep loyal customers engaged in your brand. When the economy picks back up we’ll start seeing what we always see in good times”“people aren’t loyal to offers and coupons, they’re loyal to brands – their favorite brands. But for now, I’ll keep clicking for the next sexy deal that flashes in front of me.

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