Are You Digitaling?

A great article from the CEO of a marketing agency presented this question. There is an increased focused on going digital but have we forgotten about the importance of marketing?  I cannot count how many times I have heard the empty mantra of Digital First at conferences, as headlines in the trade press or as descriptors of the latest new, amazing, never-before-seen “agency model.” Cutting to the chase…Marketing First really means People First. Digital First or Mobile First really means nothing – one describes a technology, the other a state of being…neither describes you.

Since Retail, as in Brick and Mortar, is dead and gone…it’s a known fact that only online advertising has any effectiveness in driving sales.  Seems to me that Digitaling is an easy cop-out. Digital First seems to follow today’s conventional wisdom (and you know what I think about conventional wisdom) and, as I have written many times, we are actually limiting the true potential and power of Digital channels with our Digibabble approach.

AC Nielsen puts the results down to the fact digital has not lived up to marketers’ expectations and that many brands are not using digital in the way it should be used, with targeting not being conducted correctly. The issue is not that Digital can’t or doesn’t target. The issue is that we don’t use the channels or think about targeting in the right way. We are Digitaling…not Marketing.

Taking a Digitaling approach, it’s clear why there is so much controversy over what constitutes attributable viewing – as in based on what advertisers should pay for.
As long as we are on the subject of targeting here is the difference between Digitaling and Marketing. Businesses might adopt a “less is more” approach in which less information is collected, information collection is more transparent, and targeting is used more sparingly. And then, of course, there is the rush to influencer Digitaling as opposed to smart influencer Marketing.

Forbes reports:

In the rush to go after the hottest influencers, brands have forgotten the most important thing: Influencer marketing is still marketing that has to follow traditional marketing rules… Of [Kendall Jenner’s] combined 185 million followers across four social media platforms (ignoring the fact that many of them are the same person following her on multiple platforms), only an estimated 37% reside in the U.S. and their core interests include pop music and entertainment. Beauty ranks lower on the list, and you can be sure that it doesn’t apply to her 28% male followers. What does that leave us with? If we’re selling in the U.S. and hoping to reach a female audience that’s interested in beauty products, we’ve lost at least 50 to 75% of that initial follower number, if not more. Solely referring to influencers’ vanity metrics can have a negative impact on marketing campaigns. As social media platforms become saturated, having access to audience insights is paramount to influencer marketing success.

I don’t call this traditional vs. new – I call it smart vs. not so smart…using celebs and influencers is as old as humankind…we are losing the plot…

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Peter Drucker. Ask yourself what’s the aim of Digitaling. Digital First? Honestly, it has nothing to do with customers, but rather everything to do with Digibabble. Be a Marketer…by definition you will be a Digitaler…but the reverse is not even close.

Interesting reads:


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