Remember the GIF? It’s humbling to think of these days, but the GIF was the first peek at what the cool web might look like – a promise of things to come and certainly a leap forward from the first ever internet page. It was a hope in a jar for the newfound medium, and like all things cool of yore, the GIF is currently undergoing a revival of sorts,  as it evolves to greater heights of sophistication. Which probably means that in the next decade we have a ‘javascript’ resurgence to look forward to. How quaint.

The GIF was born a very long time ago, and oh what a wicked web we’ve weaved since then. The advent of everything from Html 5 to the mobile web has allowed for a number of incredible design flourishes. So much so, that our web today is virtually unrecognizable from its original incarnation. It’s much friendlier than it’s ever been (remember the Geocities experience?); it looks better and more to the point – is the subject of tremendous marketing investment. But what about the rest of your marketing mix?

It’s one thing to order product from a sexy web shop, but quite another to get mediocre packaging (and even product) in the mail. And what about after sales? We’re so hell bent on the web in marketing right now – all roads lead back to it, that many brands have somehow forgotten the rest of the client experience, and other marketing disciplines in the process.

Many brands have somehow forgotten the rest of the client experience

Take, for instance, my recent experience with (what was once considered) a global ‘A brand.’ They’ve won awards for their ‘intuitive’ and ‘user friendly’ website. They’re oh-so great at taking my money – clicking into your shopping cart is a breeze. However, when the mail arrives, the box requires a degree to open it. Manuals, guarantees and collateral are littered throughout. It was such a great start, I thought, but things are not looking good for this relationship. Sure enough, when breakdowns soon followed with an average product that, frankly, looked and sounded better in the 3D product tour, the “customer service” process was a nightmare.

Still, we’re endlessly fascinated with what the web can offer “brand.” Infographics document where we’ve been and conferences like The Next Web tell us where we’re going.  It’s even fashionable these days to pronounce the social era ‘dead,’ but I’d like instead to pronounce websites dead – or at least down, so that brands can focus some attention to the rest of their offer.

Whichever way your online creative turns, and whatever creative turns you on, don’t forget the rest of the marketing mix. Instead of so much eye-popping cool on your dot com, try a little bit of offline love in the interests of better, longer-term relationships.