The more I move ahead in my career, the more I wonder how decisions are made. In the end, I think it often comes down to ego.
It can be pretty surprising, or even disconcerting, when you first come to terms with the fact that many decisions are in fact linked to the ego of so-and-so instead of being rational ones.
I have seen brand managers make choices based on the self-image that they want to project to the outside world, rather than on the quest for results.
My first experience of this kind was at Noos. I noticed that billboard advertising for the brand was posted all along the Managing Director’s route to the office, so that he could see the campaign and believe that it was a massive one, irrespective of whether these were the best advertising locations.
In a similar fashion, I witnessed a manager deciding to invest in music in the hope of reaching a young audience (like all brands), focusing on his own musical tastes instead of what his customers listened to…
Generally speaking, a Creative Director in an agency will more often than not prefer to see his own creation run on TV rather than on the web, even though the mindset is slowly evolving on that topic.
In the same vein, some brands invest in TV rather than in internet advertising because their top executives will prefer to see the brand on TV. In such cases, it becomes understandably difficult to push the appeal or the relevance of digital.
I won’t even mention the race for fans/followers and dinner table comparisons on the subject…
This is no doubt the main reason that brands don’t invest in forums and Facebook pages.
How many decisions are made to make the wife happy, to impress friends, or because the decision-makers children use such-and-such service ?
Don’t be fooled into thinking that only people who know nothing of the digital world react this way.
A “digital expert” will always be thrilled to run on TV even for 5 seconds (on an unknown channel, in the middle of the night…) rather than be seen on a recognized internet media. In my own experience, Facebook “likes” are also impacted by this.
It’s tough to change this bias because it is totally irrational and people are often loathe to admit they subscribe to it.
I usually try to diffuse it with a joke, but that doesn’t always work.
Don’t forget to take a good look at your own reactions (no one is above suspicion, right? I know I’m not…) and be clear on what motivates your decision-making.