In the last post, we discussed what digital marketing has and has not changed in regards to the overall marketing landscape. We argued that channels, devices, and consumer has changed, but the fundamentals of marketing have not.
In part two of this series, we will look at the implications of digital marketing on the overall marketing landscape and discuss how brands and agencies can better position their digital teams for the future.
What are the implications of digital marketing?
SEO specialists. Social media specialists. PPC specialists. Marketing automation specialists. Email marketing specialists. Subject matter experts are more prevalent in marketing than ever before. There certainly is some upside to them as they understand intricacies and channel-specific trends much better than generalists.The downside is that this often creates tunnel vision in these employees.
They often forget that their domain expertise is only one piece of the larger marketing puzzle and often have trouble putting the consumer before the platform or latest algorithm update. Sometimes social media is the right choice, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes search engine marketing is the right choice, sometimes it’s not. Specialists can fall victim to recommending their tactics without regard to overall marketing goals and objectives.
Shiny object syndrome.
Part of what makes digital marketing so exciting is that it’s always changing. Unfortunately, this often results in marketers wanting to try the shiny new thing just because they read an article about it in Ad Age.
Again, this reiterates the necessity of having strong marketing fundamentals. Before investing in a new tactic, marketers need to take the time to understand how it relates to their overall marketing strategy, target consumer and business objectives.
A disregard for marketing fundamentals.
It’s much easier to train an individual with an existing understanding of marketing fundamentals to become a “digital marketer” than it is to teach a “digital marketer” the fundamentals of marketing. Why? Because you need to learn how to walk before you can run. Fundamentals come first. And these fundamentals remain just as relevant today as they did in the Don Draper era of advertising. In fact, I’d argue they matter more.
Make sure sure your digital team is well-versed in foundational marketing frameworks, concepts, and theory. Sounds boring, I know, but this is vital. You don’t have to spend weeks reading a marketing 101 textbook, either. Follow blogs, read some books, and watch a couple online videos. Study time-tested frameworks and understand how they can be applied to the world of digital marketing. Here are some of the best resources we’ve found:
- Beloved Brands by Graham Robertson is a great resource for the fundamentals of brand/marketing management. Follow his blog at http://beloved-brands.com/ or his recently released book on Amazon.
- Lynda.com is a great resource for learning the fundamentals of marketing while also having tangible takeaways for implementation. The amount of content means endless learning possibilities. Some of our favorites:
- Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries is a great read if you’re looking to learn more about positioning, which is a core concept of marketing.
- Hubspot is one of the most widely followed marketing blogs. It has a good mix of traditional and contemporary marketing theory.
Integrate your digital and traditional teams.
Digital is here to stay, but that doesn’t necessitate the death of traditional channels. Have monthly lunch-and-learns in which the digital, traditional, and creative teams get together to explore ideas and new approaches to developing integrated campaigns.
Digital and traditional tactics need to work together to ensure media plans and messaging strategy are well-aligned and work together to transmit the same message. Even more important, make sure the consumer you are trying to reach is at the center of your plans.
At Swim, we pride ourselves on being marketers. We are not siloed into teams of digital marketers and traditional marketers. We are, however, marketers in an increasingly digital world. We thrive in creating integrated marketing campaigns that use online and offline channels to get noticed. The consumer doesn’t care whether it was a television spot or a social media ad that caught their attention and neither do we. We care about creating meaningful connections between brands and their customers.