Digital Marketing Goes Mainstream

The Real Deal with Bob Kehoe

Usually, I don’t need much in terms of persuasion when it comes to digital marketing’s impact on the Big Picture.

Be it the technology strata, the business community, or its social impact, digital marketing is, without a doubt, an integral – I’ll go as far as to say essential – part in each of those worlds. Its societal impact will surely increase as its technology continues to blossom, as businesses continue to embrace the field, and as more and more consumers and business owners’ embrace it.

The above is fact to me. That, and that I’ve been able to house, feed a family and pay for the occasional vacation and college tuition doing this for nearly two decades, is pretty much all the proof I need of the validity of what I do.

Recently, though, I got what I consider to be a pleasant reminder of this industry’s prominence in the world today.

An elevator pitch of a digital nature…

A few weeks back, I was out of town for several days in meetings with a client whose office was in a 35-plus floor high rise. Like many big-city professional buildings today, their elevators are equipped with small digital screens, which provides 20 or so second editorial feed featuring up-to-date news of a wide variety, words of the day, ads from everything from Bank Of America to Macy’s to Burrito Beach, and social goings-on in the building (i.e. tenant happy hours, services, management notices).

Over the course of my time there, I saw, alongside sports scores, stock market updates and the big sale at the lobby’s Hudson’s Books, the following news blips on my elevator trips:

  • Spending on paid media worldwide is on track to climb 5.7 percent this year. This is a slight decrease from last year, but the bulk of the digital advertising will see the brunt of this
  • Ad blocking software, which stops banner ads for popping up on computer screens, proving to be a hit with digital marketers
  • More than 50 percent of total digital spending in 2015 is expected to go to Mobile
  • Marketers are continuing to increase their digital budgets, with an estimated 60 percent upping their e-mail marketing and 48 percent increasing their spend on social media

Like many in this business, I look to receiving this news on a near daily basis, and do so from a myriad of industry related websites as well as alerts. As to be expected, these quick hits got my attention, but what really stands out for me here is the fact in itself these bites are being broadcast for the average office Joe and Janet to read.

If memory serves me well – and I’m making this call having been in more than my fair share of big city elevators over the years – digital marketing news stories such as the examples above have had an audience.  The thing is, it’s usually just geared towards us in the field.

That our industry news such as digital budgets and spends and software are now featured in this setting alongside everything here from NASDAQ updates to baseball scores to “American Horror Story” casting isn’t surprising to me and shouldn’t be to you: many of us have known its potential in the early days and all of us are part of its evolution.

In this case, it looks like the masses are starting to catch on, though. Better late than never, I say.

Digital Marketing or Marketing in a Digital World?

The shift is coming and most of us already know it. The Don Draper dinosaur is extinct. Not only has most of advertising become digital, but the majority of marketing departments will also be digitally-focused. Let’s reflect on all the old mediums of advertising: radio, TV, and snail mail. All of these things are now functioning digitally through podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and of course e-mail. The future of TV and radio is through the internet, and so it is with all forms of communication, including the telephone. As the future of internet TV progresses, digital advertising will surely become more involved, and cable TV will slowly fade into the background. So as you can see, digital marketing IS marketing, the marketing of the future. Sure, you’ll still have the occasional hard copy of a newspaper, magazine, or brochure, but for the most part, marketing strategy will be internet-based and integrated. Any other marketing efforts will be secondary. Read more