There is an article in the latest “Wired” magazine that used the experience of hyperinflation in Germany (and now Venezuela) to make a comparison to digital inflation. In hyperinflation, prices surge and money loses its value – with digitalisation we also lose our value as we may dilute it with the number of “friends” or contacts we have. Things go from being considered something of value to, something with very little value.

It’s something like “the more you have of something, the less of value it may be.”

Digital marketing has become a form of hyperinflation. Millions upon millions of dollars are spent daily with lots of businesses, organisations, keyboard warriors, bloggers & tweeters all selling something, even if it’s a bizarre idea, (and even bizarre ideas are so common now! Now nothing is interesting, or weird or radical, even ideas fall into the realm of hyperinflation) so to get any traction is going to be hard.

Hyperinflation and marketing

I wrote about junk mail in a previous blog and it was when I looked at months of junk mail and who was still doing this that I came to the conclusion that it must work. I also looked recently in local papers and there were tradies and local businesses still paying for their ad.

Here is my thoughts.

  1. You can only get so much mail in a letter box, so if you are posting in that letter box you are with a finite number of advertisers. While a number of people have “no junk mail signs” the majority of households do not.
  2. You can truly measure the number of brochures you deliver in an area. I am told you need to do this 7 times in an area before you get traction, so that the cost and value you received can be measured. The costs and results can be clear.
  3. Local papers can tell you their circulation and you will see who is advertising and who the competitors are in the local paper. I am told you need to stay in there for 6 months to gain traction, but it can work, the more people see the ad for the same home handyman, the more they believe he is local.

Radio, local press and junk mail can easily be measured. You can literally measure it by the number of brochures, the demographics of the area, ROI etc. Whereas with Facebook you have to rely on them not lying to you.

So I am going to run an experiment. Over the next 6 months one of our companies will advertise its product by “junk mail” and we will run a continuous small ad in a local paper. I may choose different cities to test this result, but I want to check my hypothesis that as the digital hyperinflation dilutes my digital ad’s value, analogue’s value may not be dead.

I will keep you up to date. Ironically I will be doing so through Facebook and Google blogs.

For your information – in November 1923, there were 4,210,500,000,000 German marks to the dollar. 4.2 trillion – the Kaiser during the war had printed so much money to pay for it, on the basis that after winning the war they would be wealthy by their gains. There is in here a digital metaphor.