Thursday, February 23, 2012


Roughly 150 years ago, John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham helped formulate an ethical theory that came to be known as "Utilitarianism." Of course Utilitarianism is more complicated that this, but I always synthesized its principle down to a simple epithet: Utilitarianism is "doing the greatest good for the greatest number."

Doing the greatest good for the greatest number is a notion that is lost on most marketers and agencies today. It seems we spend the bulk of our hours creating "experiences" few people will ever experience, ads no one ever sees, 'one to one' communications that reach no one and the like.

This we call "integration." Or a "channel strategy."

The question of doing the greatest marketing good to the greatest number is a calculus that is seldom considered. Instead, to paraphrase the Ad Contrarian, marketers believe they'll be regarded as suckers if they think "they're missing a trend."

In short, a channel strategy shouldn't be about optimizing the dozens of channels that can possibly reach consumers if the Earth slants an additional degree. A channel strategy should instead be about optimizing the channels you ultimately choose to use.

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