Marketing for a Digital World

When I say digital marketing, what images come to mind? You’re probably thinking of Snapchat stories, sponsored content on Google or Facebook, or maybe even email marketing.

What if I told you that this picture isn’t quite accurate? What if it doesn’t tell us the whole story? In my +20 years in this field of so-called “digital marketing,” the most important thing I’ve learned is that there’s no such thing as social media marketing, buzz marketing, online marketing, or, yes, even digital marketing. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say there’s really no such thing as traditional marketing.

Many authors, including Matt Press from Splash Copywriters, wrote extensive articles and books describing the different types of marketing existing. Mr. Press named an amazing 163 different types of marketing; however, something about that just doesn’t seem right to me.

How about just marketing? Yeah, that sounds better to me.

Marketing is a living organism that relies on evolving strategies, tactics, and objectives to meet consumer needs and behaviours. Whether that involves billboards, TV ads, or a Twitter 5 feed, all that really matters is that marketing reaches people wherever they are.

You haven’t been living under a rock, which means you probably spend a fair amount of your time online with your fellow netizens. This digital world is where we’re reaching the customers of this day and age, but it’s only a change of channels, a new arena, not a different game

Based on that, let’s ask ourselves some pertinent questions. Is digital marketing the new world? Or is it only being the same old world, but is the customer “more digital”?

The landscape may have changed and will, indeed, continue to change, but it is the goal for marketing to adapt and learn from customer behaviours without creating things from scratch.

The truth is that any change in customer behaviour, any experience the customer has outside of our company’s boundaries, will shape the way that they interact with us. Therefore, companies should not try to shape the way that users behave, but the other way around.

This means that our marketing approach must evolve to meet our customer’s expectations. In that sense, the remaining question is simple: is digital marketing a new type of marketing or just a logical evolution within the everlasting boundaries of marketing?

The Customer Journey developed by any company should, of course, start with the digital world in mind, not because it is an evolution of the company, not because all companies are defining “2020 objective: Digitalization,” but because it is an evolution of the customer itself. That evolution must start by re-understanding the principles and incorporating the new roles of the customer and the consumer, especially when they become “users”.