Mitch Joel Vivid At CMA’s Science and Art of Social Business, Why Not Focus On Technology and Creativity?

At Thursday’s conference held by the Canadian Marketing Association in Toronto called The Science and Art of Social Business, Mitch Joel, a respected digital marketing visionary at Twist Image was very vivid in a panel moderated by technology reporter Matt Hartley of the Financial Post with AOL Canada’s General Manager Graham Moysey.

He said that newspapers aren’t dying because of social media- it’s because newspaper content is boring.

Mitch Joel asked what’s worse: mass media or mass content?

He asked why agencies don’t hire more journalists to write content for the brands they represent- for content has to be so outstanding and relevant, otherwise it’s just a marketing push that people hate.

Joel continued in saying that the conference was a flashback to ten years ago, only when the word was “Internet” instead of “social media”.

That mobile was here, that we were super connected but highly untethered, and saying that we needed to focus on what consumers like to do with mobile.

While saying that planning a separate strategy for social, mobile and online wasn’t smart because the consumer is already integrated.

That social media’s ROI was only definable by the goals of the organization at hand. Dave Fleet of Edelman Canada said that organizations should have different voices for different parts of the organization, while SapientNitro’s David Bradfield said that social business is all about cheques and balances across an organization.

Perhaps Mitch Joel’s greatest point was that The Huffington Post had said that every day a paywall went up it was good for them, as Joel argued that paywalls only work if the content is unique and of great value.

For paywalls restrict access and are of the opposite view of Arianna Huffington’s wide-ranging notion of openness and transparency in media, which she highlighted in a keynote I covered some weeks ago.

Mitch Joel said he didn’t care about paywalls, that he cared about publishers being evolutionary, that we have to think about how to re-invent marketing.

The rant didn’t start there though- that seemed to have started on his blog where he argued that technology and innovation won’t save marketers, citing QR Codes as the great lunchbag letdown. Ironically enough, the luncheon sponsor CentrSource, heavily promoted by the embattled Canada Post at the conference, didn’t even heed my advice of optimizing QR Codes for better experiences, simply linking to a boring old website.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Ryan Caligiuiri of The Globe and Mail, saying that we need to kill creativity to make an effective ad.

Despite Mitch Joel saying that storytelling is what brands should focus on rather than technology as most agencies don’t have the basics right, a new trend combines storytelling, media and technology calledt ransmedia storytelling.

I wonder if that’s evolutionary enough for Mitch Joel.

Why Not Focus on Technology and Creativity?

The Vice President of Customer Insight at Delvinia Interactive, Amy Sullivan, said at the conference in another panel that social consumers are split between value and originality.

Wouldn’t that also translate into marketing and advertising, where consumers have come to expect seeing dazzling displays of technology integrated into advertisements while also conveying a clear cut message?

Wouldn’t examples using software after effects technologies like RealFlow, presented by After Effects Toronto Wednesday night at the Dovercourt House have the potential to be effective?

Facebook Allows for Offline and Online Creativity In Campaigns

What’s more appropriate is finding a balanced campaign that combines offline and online through a variety of mediums- which was illustrated greatly by the winning team that I was on in the Facebook challenge, led by Yahoo! Canada’s Senior Manager of Consumer Marketing, Justine Melman.

Facebook’s Alfredo Tan said that Melman’s proposed campaign was a perfect example for you can use so many different types of online advertising to do different things with Facebook in terms of brand advertising- that there’s no single right or wrong way- there are multiple right ways, which allows for the element of creativity for a successful campaign in a competitive environment for Facebook Likes.

Just as AOL’s Graham Moysey said that search advertising was maxed out, hence the beginning of a shift to display advertising, Facebook, much like LinkedIn, said that if the ’90s was browsing, the ’00s was search, this decade will be about discoverability through social networks, using social indexing to make websites smarter.

I’ll leave you with a great example of creativity and technology with Facebook using RFID technology at a recent European auto show by Renault, for in a discussion of where social media will be in five years I said that mobile media has the great potential to connect the offline world back to online in various ways: