This week I sent a proposal for a Web-based outreach campaign to a potential customer that is used to spending money only on large-scale traditional media. In other words, they have never tried to engage or communicate with all of us “web people”. Instead, they just write big arse checks to radio and TV and use them to move the needle for them.
I get it. I really do. It’s very, very hard to get the reach you need through social media. On the same note, it’s MUCH easier to write checks to traditional media outlets and get the eyeballs/listeners to move the needle on your sales charts.
But here’s what I don’t get. The proposal I created was still very inexpensive compared to the amount of money they spend on traditional media. By far. So I was surprised that I got word back that the costs were out of line in their minds. Specifically, here’s what they said.
We can’t possibly allocate major market broadcast type dollars, from our business, to a field that is so new, constantly changing, ego driven and risky with no idea of any return.
Ok. I’ll buy that, um, some of it, maybe. However, I feel it’s short-sighted. Ignoring the potential of a well conceived Web-based word-of-mouth campaign for a low cost is probably a mistake.
There’s nothing new about word-of-mouth, and there’s certainly nothing new about blogging and bloggers and influencers and spreading the idea virus and all that stuff that makes a great campaign happen.
Sure, it’s risky, but the low-cost makes it digestible, right?
So I’m curious. Am I right, or are they?