"From Bowling to Pinball - how successful marketing organizations are adapting to digital" "Rob Malcolm, Lecturer in Marketing, The Wharton School and Peter Sieyes, International Marketing Leader explain how successful marketing today is more like pinball than bowling. It's less about trying one ball at a time, over and over, to reach consumers. It's more about keeping that ball in play as long as possible, to rack up points and build impressions." "

Digital has changed the \"game\" of marketing, and some companies are doing a better job adapting than others. The \"winners\" at the new game understand how the game has changed, and have done a better job using digital channels to create ongoing consumer engagement by actively managing digital conversations.

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The traditional marketing game was like Bowling. The large TV budget was the ball marketers rolled down the lane, trying to hit all the pins. This is the old push model. Marketers were in control, happily counting how many \"pins\" they had hit, and how often. Success in this game was clear-cut, and the metrics clear.

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With digital, the game has changed. The new \"game\" feels more like Pinball. Marketers still partially control the ball, but a lot of action has shifted to the top of the table. Messaging, and other content bounces back and forth between \"bumpers\" - consumer sharing/co-creating/discussing - and the marketer's most important role is to try and keep a conversation going, racking up points by keeping the ball in play as long as possible. (We are indebted to marketing strategist and author Michael Bayler, for co-developing the pinball analogy.) In a pinball world, marketers can't know outcomes in advance. Instead, marketers have to be prepared to respond in real time to the spin put on the ball by consumers. When mastered, though, pinball can deliver big point multipliers, like reaching networked influencers, advocates, and other high-value consumers, who sustain and spread positive conversations about brands across multiple channels.

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Here is a bit of what we've learned observing some of the marketing world's Pinball \"Wizards\":

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In summary, the new game in town is Pinball. Is your company ready to seriously step up to the table and start playing?

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