It’s over. Digital Marketing is no more. We don’t get online. We don’t stream over anything. It’s not digital anymore. It’s just marketing.
RIP Digital Marketing – We Will Miss You
For those of us that are old enough to remember waiting for Mom to get off the phone so we could “get online”, we tend to think of marketing and digital marketing as being two distinct entities. For instance, a newspaper ad is marketing, a banner ad on a website is digital marketing, It was pretty cut and dried. If it came over a CRT it was digital. Everything else was plain old marketing.
RIP Digital Marketing – Long Live Marketing
The simple fact is the line got blurred when LTE hit our smartphones in 2012. So first we ditched the phone lines for “broadband” home service, then installed wireless networks so our home was always “on”. Then, like magic, when away from our home network, we had internet all the time on our smartphones thanks to LTE. Now our TV’s, thermostats, and “assistants” (like Google Home) are all connected, as we barrel down the “internet of things”.
Digital Last Rites
If you asked a 35 or 40 year old how much time they spent “online” 20 years ago, they could likely tell you down to the minute (because it was billed that way!). If you ask a 18 year old, they would likely say “I don’t know. What does “online” mean?”
And it’s not a silly answer, because to “be online” you would have to be “offline” at times.
And no one is “offline” anymore. For instance, yesterday my Spectrum service disappeared for the better part of the day. In the past, that would mean grabbing my laptop and heading off to a coffee shop that had wireless. Not anymore. Now you just take out your smartphone and you are still “online”.
Unfortunately, most business owners still use that “technology terminology “, as if the internet is a physical thing like in the past. Because in the past, you likely had to unplug the phone, go in a folder, launch a program like AOL and physically connect, all while hoping no one calls and knocks you “offline”.
RIP Digital Marketing – It was fun while it lasted
It’s simply not that way anymore.
As a business, you don’t need a digital strategy. You need a strategy. You don’t need digital marketing, you need marketing. Your business doesn’t need digital commerce or mobile commerce…it needs commerce and furthermore, you won’t be needing a digital agency…you simply need an marketing agency.
The fact of the matter is people don’t “stream over the internet”, they simply watch TV. The new channels are Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, not ABC, NBC and CBS.
Because people don’t think about how stuff gets to them anymore. And we are becoming less cognizant that it’s the internet that is giving it to us, whether it’s broadband or LTE. Now we have Google Home, Amazon Dash Buttons and more as the “internet” as we know it recedes, yet becomes the very backbone of our lives.
And that’s the very mindset a business owner needs to have for modern marketing. Because everything will be digital. Everything will be a screen for content.
The Evolution of “The Screen”.
Decades ago, the primary screen in our life was the movie theater (especially if it was screening a 70 mm print). We watched from a distance in a crowd of others. Then TV’s came along and we set it in the corner of our living room and sat closer with fewer people, but had more control because we had “channels”. Then we started to watch content on our laptops, then finally we watch as ‘a crowd of one” on our phones.
I was reminded of this last week when I was talking to a 57 year old friend in Seattle, who refuses to buy a laptop or TV, because she lives alone and the phone works just fine for shows and movies (she is a millennial at heart- when she dropped her Nexus phone last year, I could hear her scream in South Carolina).
I tell you this because so for so long, businesses of all shapes and sizes had to fit content into a rectangular box.
From newspaper advertising to yellow page ads, or even TV. You had to fit it in a box. Today we scroll, and if the information is of interest, we continue to scroll and consume.
Now, content marketing puts you out there on Google or Bing when a customer is actually looking for your product or service. The opportunities for your business are endless. Push Marketing (think loud, obnoxious car dealer TV ads) is receding and Pull Marketing (Google listings for keywords) and social media content is a marketing dream because you get in front of people who are more likely to buy from you.
On whatever screen they are using.
RIP Digital Marketing – We hardly Knew Ye
Lastly, there was a time when we looked up a number and called a taxi, now it’s an app. Every moment we used to be without media, is now an opportunity for us to pull out our phone and consume. Waiting for an elevator, riding public transportation (or being in the passenger seat in a car)…sometimes we look for reasons to be on our phone.
These days we live in an environment where people want information they can trust. And more and more, consumers are avoiding traditional advertising in favor of rich, more personal data.
And that is the value of Content Marketing.