from Catch-22 starring Alan Arkin, Directed by Mike Nichols, and available on Amazon

Whenever we pitch something new within a team, or to a client, the first question that comes up is -“has it been done before?” But that’s not in the positive sense of saying “let’s not repeat what someone has already done” but in the negative of “oh my god, how can we try something which isn’t tried and tested?”

This is particularly true when it comes to digital marketing and the hottest new buzzword “new media”! Almost everyone who is in marketing, advertising, public relations and the media itself, is talking about it. Yet no one really has a clue about it, or has done something about it.

While many claim to have done something, it usually boils down to a few SMS sent out somewhere, and some mobile wallpapers or 10 second clips being downloaded somewhere. In an exercise that lasted about 15 days to max a month!

Of course, we also have lots of seminars on the subject. Where the usual suspects will arrive and talk about the usual suspects – led by Sunsilk Gang of Girls and the aforementioned SMS and 10 second clips (!).

And oh yes, we also have the same old “mobile marketing gurus” and “telecom company chiefs” and “web experts” who come and talk of the big plans the have, all confidential of course, to be announced at a later date.

Any real examples or results anywhere? Nope.

When you probe these folk (and I know from my own experience with Brands) is that no one is really ready to invest in something that’s not tried and tested, and are sceptical about “new media” in the first place!

So you don’t have case studies, and you don’t have anyone willing to become one.

Catch-22.

My pitch of course is straight up front – “Not been done. Cannot give you proof. Cannot guarantee success!” A gentle reminder that neither their ad agency nor their PR firm guarantees campaign success is slipped in somewhere. And then the only argument I have – “Someone’s gotta be a pioneer, why not you?!”

Now if only someone wakes up and breaks the Catch-22!

Meanwhile, I hope to see/hear something new at Wake up and Smell the coffee – an IAMAI conference on Digital Marketing being held in New Delhi on the 14th of September.

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