INTERACTIVE: NEW-MEDIA CLINIC - Websites with lateral marketing vision will increase brand value

Apparently, many of you thought I was joking when I wrote in this column last month that Websites aren’t for marketing. ’What on earth is a magazine like Campaign doing writing about the medium if it doesn’t consider it to be useful to marketers?’ you chorused.

Apparently, many of you thought I was joking when I wrote in this

column last month that Websites aren’t for marketing. ’What on earth is

a magazine like Campaign doing writing about the medium if it doesn’t

consider it to be useful to marketers?’ you chorused.



Ah, but I didn’t say that. The Web is a useful marketing medium. My

contention is that a Website is not a marketing tool per se. If the aim

of a Website is purely to market the product or brand in question, then

it is doomed.



Sorry, Charlie (Campaign Letters, 18 April).



Carling’s footie site is a brilliant marketing exercise. It is also a

good source of information about football. In fact, you can delete the

’also’ - from a user’s point of view, it is purely a useful information

source, just as the FA Carling Premiership is no more than the most

important domestic football competition.



The Website is a perfect brand extension, dovetailing with the

sponsorship, the Carling Premier lager brand, the point-of-sale material

etc. What it doesn’t do is talk to you about Carling lager - hence it is

not a marketing site per se.



Traditional advertising does this too. In Coca-Cola’s current TV ads

through Wieden and Kennedy Amsterdam, no-one mentions Coke; we just

witness true stories told by football fans - who happen to take the odd

swig from a Coke can now and then.



Ask anyone to name the beer brand most closely associated with football,

and I bet 95 per cent would say Carling. Coke doesn’t own football in

the same way, but it is getting there. This is particularly galling for

an unreconstructed Northerner like myself, who believes that Coke should

bloody well stick to baseball and keep its sticky fingers off our

beloved national sport. Nevertheless, it demonstrates the power that

lateral marketing can have.



And lateral marketing is precisely where the Internet comes into its

own. As it grows and merges into what we now call TV, it will extend its

reach, its speed and its marketing potential. Those who know how to use

it - by owning content - will prosper. Those who think it’s just an

opportunity for some free media placement for their ads will not.