Don't Believe The Hype: Digital Marketing Is Dead!


I recently attended an excellent (and highly entertaining) webinar presented by Mark Ritson, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Melbourne Business School as part of the Digital Survivor Series, hosted by Sitecore.

The title of the webinar had me intrigued given that Sitecore specialise in web content management and marketing automation software and are therefore very much in the digital space.

'The Death of Digital and the Era of Integration' proved to be every bit as fascinating and controversial as the title suggests. Essentially Mark was challenging the notion, which has become quite prevalent in recent years, that digital marketing and social media are the be-all and end-all of modern marketing.

Using data to highlight where some of the misguided assumptions about digital marketing have come from, we quickly established that we’re often comparing apples to oranges when it comes to audience reach.

Social media has become so fashionable that brands often prioritise these channels over traditional media such as print and radio, which are often painted as dying channels when the reality is far from true, in the mistaken belief that they will be missing out on a huge audience if it’s omitted.

You could almost hear the gasps of disbelief on the line as Mark challenged the figures and people digested the message that most people would never dare give voice to!

Mark argued that rather than allocating a budget to digital marketing ‘upfront’, marketers and agencies should be adopting a much more media neutral approach until they have formulated a marketing strategy. The budget should only be allocated when it is clear what the goals are; the appropriate channels can then be identified and an integrated communications approach can be implemented.

I’m a huge advocate of this approach as my recent blog posts on getting ‘back to basics’ will testify. As a marketer with more than 20 years’ experience and having also worked for a large media owner for several years, marketing ‘traditional’ media, I could be considered quite biased.

The reality is quite different. I absolutely still believe in the power and place of traditional media in the marketing mix, however, when digital is properly integrated with traditional media, the results can be incredible.

I truly believe that all channels have their place so long as the goals and targets have first been established.

I’m a huge fan of digital marketing and spend a significant amount of time helping my small business clients understand the power of digital and the enormous benefits that can be realised by simply adopting the basics of digital marketing.

Realistically digital marketing cannot be left out of the mix! For example, having a website, no matter how basic, is a fundamental pre-requisite for all businesses, regardless of size.

However ‘doing’ social media marketing just because you think it’s what people expect you to be doing rather than what’s actually going to deliver results for your business just doesn’t make sense.

So while digital marketing clearly isn't dead, adopting a well-balanced strategy where traditional and digital are properly integrated is absolutely the best approach.

It’s all about priorities especially when you have a limited budget and limited resources. If you need help developing and implementing a marketing strategy that makes sense for your small business, don’t hesitate to drop me an email: anne@bsbmarketing.com.au or call 0478 042536

And if you ever get the opportunity to hear Mark Ritson speak, I can’t recommend him highly enough!

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