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It’s a Digital World. Let’s Embrace it.

A few years ago, I was on a conference call when I started to feel uneasy. I suddenly realized that I understood almost none of the conversation. Geotagging? Ad networks? Ad retargeting? What's all this talk of data? I thought I'd gotten into marketing!

Sound familiar? 

I would assert many marketers have trouble making the shift. Maybe you’re a private person, and now you’re living in a time when privacy is a thing of the past. Maybe you still don’t understand the value of sharing a picture of your breakfast. Or you are struggling with the onslaught of data. It takes a shift in mindset for those of us not born in a digitized world.   If you need a little help getting started, here are a few tips I've learned along the way:

Get Analytical: Have someone show you the tagging of websites and walk you through a digital dashboard and how it can inform your marketing. It all starts with the data, and as marketers, we need to ask ourselves what data we’re capturing and how we’re using it to drive segmentation. Try an ad retargeting or media attribution pilot. It will open your eyes to the art of what's possible and give you a bird’s eye view of how your customers are reacting to your marketing campaigns.

Get Social: It's not enough to read about social media. You need to walk the walk to truly understand how it's being used. Join all the social communities—not just Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but also Pinterest, Triberr, Snapchat, and Tumblr. I ask my babysitters what new tools they’re using, and there always seems to be something I’ve never heard of. In order to create campaigns, you need to be an expert-level user of social media. It’s that simple: Everyone, from the CMO right down through the staff. Marketing is social, so get social. Pick a few role models who are using social effectively and follow them actively. Mine are people like: Jay Baer, Ted Rubin, Brian Solis, Bryan Kramer and Pam Moore. First identify people who you find captivating in social forums and then find your own voice and the method of engagement that works for you.

Get Going: I sense there is a lot of stagnation going on as marketing organizations wait for the dust to settle on all these new trends and technologies, but in reality, the bar is rising higher and higher. Start with small, targeted pilots that get it right and then scale them appropriately. Failure is inevitable, but it’s also valuable. The time is right to reward your teams for innovation and to use failures as a guide.

So cheers to the digital age, to the younger generation, and to marketers of every age for working together to take it to the next level. After all, it's a digital world—lets embrace it.

9 Responses

  1. David Shaw says:

    Thanks for sharing this. There is a real shift in marketing roles. Technology plays a huge part. I belive that there are people from the technical world entering the marketing world and marketing people having to suddenly get technical. Which way round is better is a great debate. Also there are so many spokes in the marketing wheel now. I would also suggest checking out Marcus Sheridan and Derek Halpern. 

    • Thank you David for your comment.  Great point. Some of our top clients are hiring teams of Phds in the area of analytics. My guess is you’re right —  it will take a mix of traditional marketing, analytics and technical digital skills to take it to the next level.

  2. Dino Dogan says:

    It goes back to that ol' chestnut. Medium is the message.

    I was involved in a campaign about a year ago that targeted pre-teens. And guess where they are? They are not on Facebook, Pinterest, Triberr, Tumblr, or even Twitter. They are on Keek. 

    Yup…most people have never heard of Keek. And to add to the confusion, there is also Kik. 

    Keek is youtube for pre-teens, essentially. You want to reach them? Meet them on their own turf. BOOM!

    Anyways…I could go on 🙂

    Thnx for lumping Triberr in with Pinterest and other big names, Tami. YOU ROCK! 🙂

    • Thanks Dino!  This goes back to my point about friending some forward thinkers who are ‘in the know’ and will spot the NEXT thing because while I’m keeping pace.. some like yourself, are already aware of the NEXT BIG thing.     Keep me posted!!  Checking out Keek! 

  3. Amar Trivedi says:

    Excellent post, Tami. The world is changing. Resistance is futile. While it's natural to hold on to old ways (tried and tested = security to many), it's time to embrace change. In a data-driven, tech-led world, it's all about learning by doing, experimenting on the fly and cracking it in realtime. Get analytical. Get social. Get going… is the way to go!

    Love the title: "It's a digital world. Let's embrace it." I'm actively embracing the new world – digital, social, mobile, all ecosystems – with an open heart + positive mind. (see pic 🙂

    ps: I closely follow all the experts above, and yourself. You're right up there. Yes indeed!

  4. Martin says:

    Good post! Nice thoughts around the new impacts marketing should be focussing on. However, not quite sure whether the pilot on ad retargeting and media attribution really gets customers to the appropriate experience from a data perspective. Often the retargeting technology is still not where it needs to be and customers might get annoyed…

  5. David Perry says:

    Great post Tami. Short and to the point. One thing that I've noticed when talking with Sales/Marketing/PR friends about "Getting Social" is their reluctance to do so. "What should I tweet about?", "Who's going to read/listen?" are some of the questions that come up.

    I've told them to focus on a hobby or passion they have and tweet/share about that. Find that commuity out there Would have any other tips for newcomers that I could share? Anything that helps them get the ball rolling?


  6. OK. In the digital age marketing people need to embrace technology. Very True. And indeed it also works the other way around: technology people should count on marketing people to connect with customers and understand them so that better technology could emerge. Let's connect marketing & technology, it's a win/win opportunity for business ! 

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