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Just Do Digital: Dan Wieden vs. Kendall Jenner

By Betty Tuppeny

DanDan Wieden said: “While the giant holding companies are wobbling like drunkards, trying to stabilize margins, trying to hold onto client loyalty, the rest of you should be sharpening your knives … The new digital world has done nothing but create enormous confusion and uncertainty.”

Really, has it?

downloadIf Kendall Jenner, the natural beauty raised on reality TV for the past eight years, with her 16.4 million Instagram followers and her recent claim as the new global face of Estée Lauder, has figured it out, how come ad agencies can’t?

It’s because digital seems like a foreign language that marketers need to learn; but it’s not. It’s simply more options to deliver your brand’s core message.

TV, Facebook, radio, Twitter, print, Instagram, FSIs, Vine … it’s all the same … it’s the distribution of your brand’s message.

In the Domus Client Needs Poll, conducted by Harris Interactive, 64% of Marketing Directors reported Digital Dysfunction, defined as either a lack of understanding regarding digital’s impact on the bottom line and/or the inability to measure digital’s effectiveness. Branders need to face their lack of comfort with digital like people face any other dysfunction: by demystifying it and solving the real problem. 

The three strategies branders need to employ to make digital an effective part of their promotional mix are rooted in classic marketing:

Define your marketing organization’s “Digital IQ” and then train any and all brand stakeholders until they reach a common understanding of digital’s unique potential.  Organizations have a tremendous opportunity for cross-training. There are brilliant, experienced business and marketing minds working side-by-side with cutting-edge techies. Through customized training, they can create a common language so that they teach each other – all in the name of building the brand.

Dominate digital activities exactly as you would other branding elements. Utilize the classic marketing techniques of competitive analyses, war games, share of voice and brand awareness tracking with digital. Don’t be afraid of it – again, it’s just an additional option for distributing your brand message.

Measure all branding activity as definitively as you measure digital. John Wanamaker once said he knew half of his advertising was wasted, he just didn’t know which half. The pinpointed analytics that digital introduced to the advertising world answered Mr. Wanamaker’s question – and that ROI brilliance should be applied to all marketing activities.

When it comes to digital, marketers can take a lesson from Estée Lauder: “I didn’t get here by thinking about it – I got here by doing it.” So in the end Dan is right; when it comes to digital Just Do It!

Dan, no disrespect to your branding brilliance. Kendall, I’m glad that Instagram is the “edit of your life.” Nice sound bite. You make it look easy.

For help doing digital, contact Domus, Inc. at or 215.772.2805. Domus is Built for the Client™ with a suite of complementary leading-edge services to meet your current and emerging needs, including the Domus Digital Comfort Zone™, Domus Digital Dominance™, and Domus Digital ROI™. To download the full Domus Client Needs Pol™l conducted by Harris Interactive, visit Read more about us at The Wall Street Journal and Marketing Profs.

Betty Tuppeny is the CEO and Founder of Domus, Inc.

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