The always excellent finance and business video series Wallstrip has a great game called “Long; Short” where various interviewees give their thoughts on stuff using the time honoured trader’s choice of “long” (in for the long term) and “short” (sell now, buy later for a quick profit).
Here’s my long/short position on various things going around right now
Twitter – short. No business model (as yet) and I think businesses will find it hard to justify their presence and their employees presence on such a huge time suck. Another outlet for the PR function to monitor.
Blogging – long! Great content will win out.
Google – long. In a recession, detailed analytics will be paramount to proving value. As more and more content goes up onto the web and into Google’s index, more and more people will use the number one search engine meaning more and more click-throughs will be sold. Long on AdWords; long on Google.
I’m long on SEO for the same reason.
Podcasting – long. In a knowledge based economy, portable content of any kind will be a winner.
RSS – short. Well, I’m short RSS as we know it. I’m short on consumer adoption of RSS improving beyond a small to medium portion of the general population. However, I am long on RSS as a technology which continues to power the best Web sites and syndicate content all over the Web. I am long on RSS becoming the backbone of the Web.
Fleishman-Hillard – long! I read a ridiculous post a few weeks back on big PR agencies not taking digital seriously and spent way too much potentially billable time thinking about a response. The best way to put this is that FH has probably the most advanced digital capability out of all the big agencies and probably by a decent sized multiple. That said, the laser focus on clients has meant the organization is not blowing its own horns enough.
Social media “experts” – short! Find a social media expert and all you get is social media expertise. But…
Integration – long! Integration across all disciplines needs to be tighter. That doesn’t mean having the PR agency writing a news release about the ad campaign, but about a true multi-channel approach to marketing with consistent creative and channels that match up with the demographics.
Facebook – long. But it’s a tough one. It is tough to “long” a company that needs > $365mm in revenue ($1mm a day) to cover server/bandwidth costs alone. On the other hand, I love the idea of advertising along the social graph. I’m told by peers and colleagues that Facebook ads are getting a higher ROI than even AdWords campaigns – so if I’m long AdWords, how can I short Facebook? Plus, you have to hope that will the caliber or investors Facebook will turn a profit someday…
Email – long. With all the hype around Web 2.0 type technologies, it is sometimes hard to remember that Web 1.0 is still alive, kicking and producing tremendous ROI. Email ROI is about 46:1 on online advertising (down from 56:1 the previous year) but still represents an efficient, elegant way to dialogue directly with engaged (read: opted in) consumers. Definitely long.
Viral marketing – short. Well, short until people realise what they’re asking for. Viral is a result, not a tactic. In order to be viral, you need to be, literally, remarkable. Not enough agencies/consultants have the chops to really tell this to clients. It is a high risk, high reward game and until companies follow Diesel and Nike and Agent Provocateur down the path of creating remarkable content that people will want to share, I am short on “viral” marketing. Contradictorily, I would probably be long on word of mouth marketing if I knew more about it and its inner workings.
Online or digital marketing – short. It may surprise you to know that I am short on online/digital marketing. I work for an Internet communications agency and my work is all online and digital marketing. I’m short this because I think, eventually, “online and digital” marketing will just become “marketing”. The boundaries are starting to blur and will continue to blur as integration continues apace.
Keeping my English spelling – long.
Business Jargon – short. For me at least. I neither like nor understand baseball so why would I want to “touch base”?
What are you long/short on in today’s marketing world? What would you like my ill-considered, hastily assembled, snap-second judgement on for next time?