You Can See Our House From Here

08 Jan You Can See Our House From Here

(Or why analogue habits die hard in the digital age)

When Google Earth was unveiled in May 2007, it put the world at our fingertips.

Only five cities were featured in those first weeks. But within a few months the majority of the planet was ours to explore.

And what did we do?

First of all, we looked at where we lived. (“You can see our CAR!”)

Then, we looked at where we used to live. Then our parents’ house. Then the building we worked in…

Despite the fact we could now view some of the most spectacular natural and man-made phenomena on the planet, we went first to what we knew.

It was a pattern of behaviour that flew in the face of how we were supposed to embrace the freedom the internet had given us.

And confounded what digital marketing evangelists had predicted for smaller, web savvy brands who had always been denied the big budget exposure of traditional media channels.

Thanks to the awesome power of search and SEO, the theory went, we could now make fair and balanced choices between brands in the ultimate democratic environment.

Except we didn’t. Faced with an overload of information, we sought out what was familiar: the brands and products we were most comfortable with in the offline world.

All of which proves human nature doesn’t change overnight because industry thought leaders declare advertising is dead.

Indeed, intelligent marketers understand the importance of a strong brand presence in the offline world as a driver for success online.

Like photography didn’t kill painting and TV didn’t kill cinema, the web and mobile haven’t done for traditional media. They’ve simply increased the number of tools available to us for reaching and engaging with customers.

And anyone who insists you concentrate your spend exclusively on just one of those tools has either got a vested interest in you doing so… or they’ve yet to realise there’s a whole world out there.