It might seem a strange thing to say, considering we work in digital marketing and spend most of our time talking about how marketing has moved online and how traditional forms of advertising are becoming less effective. However, that is exactly why digital marketing needs to stop being a "thing".
According to Anne Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of the CIM, "Yet as our everyday lives become ever more digitised, shouldn’t brands have a strategy for integrating digital into their wider marketing activities to best serve the needs of their customers and consumers?" The topic of this year's CIM Digital Summit was the shift from Digital Marketing to Marketing in a Digital World, which makes a lot of sense.
Q: So where does that leave marketers?
A: Exactly where they have always been!
A marketer's job is to understand their marketplace, figure out which segments to target and which messages they want to communicate, depending on their objectives. They then create material to get these messages across to the appropriate audience in the most effective way. The fact that the most effective way to communicate these messages is increasingly likely to be digital is not really that relevant. It is just the execution of your activity plan.
The process looks like this
The boss says "We need to double sales of our big valves".
The marketing team or marketing agency get onto the data and do some research to figure out who buys their big valves. They narrow it down to engineers in the manufacturing sector. They have a fairly high market share in many industries but there is an opportuity to increase take up in large food processing plants.
Their immediate task is to increase awareness of their big valves among engineers in food processing plants, with the longer term aim of getting them to request a demonstation.
They then craft the messages that they want to get across to grab the attention of these engineers and make them interested enough to find out more.
Nothing different so far, is there?
It's all about the How
It's only once they start thinking about how to generate awareness of your valves that online marketing is even mentioned. That's when they look at how a typical target engineer finds information and decide whether their messages will be communicated online, offline or both.
There's just marketing
That's why I agree that there is no such thing as digital marketing, it's all just marketing in a world that is moving increasingly online.