As the digital world expands and grows, it is taking all of us for a ride.
Do you remember the day that the fax machine was the next new thing? And a really big thing it was back then. I know I’m dating myself a bit, but back in the 80’s I just could not work out how they got that darn piece of paper through the telephone line, and why there wasn’t a paper traffic jam with all these pieces of paper whizzing along through the cables below!
It was about the same time that my first boss once told me an unimaginable thing. “One day, we’ll all have computers on our desks. Every single one of us”. How crazy will things become? – I thought. I then walked downstairs to the computer room, with all those tapes whizzing round and round, and the football field size room was ablaze with lights flashing, the sound of incessant “whirring” activity, and that “operating room” feeling of clinical coldness. Even the workers in that room were wearing white coats. I can only think now – boy do they have lots of real estate to play with these days.
As time went by, these changes have accelerated dramatically, to the point where many people can no longer keep up. We were promised that these changes would make it easier for us. We were fed visions of increased leisure time, productivity gains and we even imagined days on the beach a plenty. Oh, how wrong they were. Now we have more work to do, greater expectations of responsiveness and less time on our hands. Even the few days on the beach are often punctuated by a phone call or an email or a text message that comes through on our Blackberry or iPhone.
So how do we deal with this change and what does that have to do with marketing?
Well, it’s pretty easy to explain…
Just about anything we do or say these days has a digital connotation:
When last did your hands touch a paper map? (google maps?)
When last did you take driving instructions from a map book?
When last did you mail a letter to someone? (email, text, cell phone?)
When last did you read an actual paper newspaper? (not the online version?)
How often do you take a call on your cell-phone?
When last did you look at a telephone book?
Does anyone remember what an encyclopedia looks like?
When last did you use a standard camera to take a photo?
With all these new, digital forms of communication, interaction with the average human being and business has changed. And since marketing represents the dialogue and interaction between one party trying to sell something and another party trying to buy something, it just makes sense that marketing is rapidly moving into the digital environment. And with the enhancements in programming and computers, marketing is rapidly moving into the sphere of science, not just a quasi form of art. Everything is becoming measurable – and the digital environment is driving that.
No longer is branding alone acceptable. Everything is becoming more and more about lead generation, measurement and reporting. And the digital environment is driving that as well. Tracking of responses through Google Analytics and the latest marketing automation techniques and processes have moved marketing forward dramatically in the last few years. And these are just two of the metrics that are commonly adopted in the new style of marketing.
Advertising, public relations, promotion and the like, as we knew it a few years ago, is old thinking. They make sense if they are adopted as part of a process that uses these new techniques. In fact that is where they belong – it’s part of the marketing process, not a standalone, and if you are using any of the old techniques as a standalone, you should be questioning whether you are spending your money smartly.
SMART Marketing is where everyone should be. If you are not being smart, well….good luck. If you’d like to be smart – call me: 905-886-2235.
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