The Grand Unified Theory of Marketing(tm) – Digital String Theory

UPDATED:  March 2014

Grand Unified Theory of Marketing by Augustine Fou 2014 Update from Dr Augustine Fou

 

UPDATED:  September 21, 2011

Most people use the term integrated marketing now and it has come to mean loose “integration” or interrelationships between marketing channels, like putting a web address on a TV ad, a QR code on a print ad, etc.

I am adding the following slide called “Unified Marketing – ecosystem of touchpoints” to put forth the concept of unified marketing.  This starts by putting the customer in the “middle” and wrapping their purchase funnel around them. Then we add the 3 concentric circles: 1) on-site, 2) off-site, and 3) third party to represent the types of channels at the disposal of the marketer/advertiser.

Then all tactics can be plotted on this single, unified marketing chart to reveal whether there are any gaps (not enough activity) or redundancies (too much spend).

Unified Marketing – ecosystem of touchpoints

Additional Reading:  Digital is a Philosophy

 

ORIGINAL POST

Just as physicists and mathematicians have been searching for the grand unified theory of the universe, I have been looking for a way to tie together the disparate disciplines of marketing and advertising, a way to correlate metrics from different industries that interrelate with marketing (e.g. market research, Nielsen, etc.), a way to put all past theories in context and perspective (Michael Porter’s Five Forces, Net Promoter, etc.), and a way to explain marketing successes and failures — all in one.

My method is the scientific method – which is simply put doing experiments and making observations that either support or refute hypotheses.

A grand unified theory will also need to be able to take into account phenomena such as social networks, etc. What are the organizing principles of such; what is the value?

Why now?

Using digital tools — such as search volume trends — we can start to correlate marketing spend effectiveness across different forms of media and also different advertising and marketing techniques.  The example below compares eTrade and @Drobo. What is most embarrassing is that eTrade, a well known brand from the first dot-com heyday, spent lots of money creating and airing TV ads which it hoped would go viral. They even paid for Superbowl ads for the last 2 years to promote the “eTrade talking babies” as you see from the 2 spikes in search volume during February of 2008 and 2009.  However, when compared to Drobo (a startup company that developed a very easily upgradeable back up hard drive array), it is shocking to note that Drobo spent NOTHING on advertising and relied entirely on word of mouth and an awesome product. And their search volume is not only larger than eTrade but also sustainably larger despite zero advertising and media cost.  The “totals” even suggest that the volume under the curve of Drobo is 8X (EIGHT TIMES) that of eTrade.

So if you consider that eTrade spent millions of dollars to create the TV ads and even more millions of dollars to air them on TV in order to drive interest, demand, and hopefully new customers, then Drobo can be considered to have gotten the equivalent of 8X more dollars in advertising and media – for FREE using techniques and channels other than TV advertising. So what does that say about the relative value of TV advertising compared to these other, newer techniques?

etrade-drobo-search-volume

godaddy vs megan fox

megan-fox-godaddy-search-volume

Grand Unified Theory of Marketing - Digital String Theory

Grand Unified Theory of Marketing – Digital String Theory

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By: Dr. Augustine Fou Thursday, October 29th, 2009 digital strategy

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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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