INTERACTIVE: THE INTERACTIVE QUESTIONNAIRE/in association with electronic telegraph

Online work is only worth an off-line plug if it’s good. If not, put your efforts into your site, Mairi Clark says

Online work is only worth an off-line plug if it’s good. If not, put

your efforts into your site, Mairi Clark says

‘Whatever you are doing online, it is infinitely more important to shout

about it off-line’ - Matthew Freud on the launch of Traffic Interactive.

Do you agree?

The phenomenology of ‘I’m online so I must be good’ is beginning to

fade. On that basis, the echo one achieves by shouting about it must

diminish in equal proportions. A year ago a commercial Web site would be

one of 10,000 www.somethingorother. com; now there are round 160,000.

Online marketing is a tough discipline. It is about setting clear

objectives, however grand or limited, and setting out to achieve them.

The key is to create something of value, to give the user a better way

of interfacing with your business or your message and, at the same time,

to recognise that the consumer is paying directly for this experience.

Marketing and advertising need to earn their place in this environment,

which is inhabited by the most communications-savvy sector of the

population. If you have something, shout: it’s easier to find something

online if it’s promoted off-line. If you waste people’s time and money,

stay quiet: no-one is going to thank you for directions to a dead end.

Rob Norman CIA Interactive

In true equivocal style, yes and no. Yes it is important to make a lot

of noise about what you are doing. What’s the point of developing a

terrific Web site and then not telling anyone about it? All of us

involved in the Web should be doing our best to spread the news. But

‘no’, not if it takes you away from that development. There is nothing

more tiresome than reading in some magazine or paper about an

‘innovative and ground-breaking’ Web site, to find some utterly tedious,

cobbled-together affair that tells you nothing, does nothing and never


Ben Rooney Daily Telegraph

Initially, I agree. But we must question the rationale for producing the

online promotion. Is the primary focus to behave as a PR vehicle? To be

an effective part of the client company’s integrated marketing and

promotions strategy, you need to be part of a learning process for

interactive communications (for example, a Web site) which promises in

the next decade to become possibly the dominant form of promotional

activity. Therefore, let us ask our clients what they wish to achieve

and put online activities into context.

Bill Faust IMPÿ20multimedia@dial.pipex. com

It is difficult to argue that off-line activity supporting your online

activity is always more important. The weight applied to off-line

activity in relation to online activity depends very much on your

marketing objectives, and the market within which you are working. Off-

line activity can be more important than the online activity it supports

when it is used as a means to position the brand(s) involved. In almost

all cases off-line activity should be regarded as an essential support

for online activity. However, in the case of sites focusing on

information provision or transactions with an existing online community,

it may be more prudent to focus rationed budgets into online traffic

generation than support to off-line activities.

James Tarin Chilcott le Fevre

For as long as the UK reach of the Net remains low, the marketing value

of linked off-line communication is bound to be higher. (At present,

simply shoving your Web address on a TV commercial can add to brand

imagery.) Traffic’s proposition takes this logic a step further - by

understanding that it’s the power of your online content that determines

the power of your off-line story. pounds 1 to pounds 2 million worth of

PR coverage for Vladivar’s live Net gig with Supergrass is a case in

point. That’s why Traffic is in the business of creating and promoting

high-value event programming for the Web, not just ‘so what’ Web sites.

Jonathan Obermeister AMV BBDO


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