Digital marketing is dead

Smartphone_bustedby Tony Fannin, CEO, BE Branded  |  

Procter & Gamble’s Global Brand executive, Marc Pritchard, recently announced that “digital marketing is dead” at Advertising Week 2013 in New York City. I agree. So, how can digital marketing be dead with smart phones, tablets and laptops being so woven into our daily lives, you ask? All of our devices and internet are no longer a niche or platform. It is too pervasive to be considered a stand-alone category. Everyone and everything is connected. This makes every consumer action digital marketing.

It is not about marketing on mobile or tablet or any other web site “platform” (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), but it is about brand building. Digital is just a tool to engage people with creative campaigns and relevant infotainment (you can no longer just be spewing out information, but need to deliver some form of entertainment to keep people engaged and coming back for more.) I’ve held the belief over the last 3-4 years that brand is even more important online than ever. Why? There are soooo many web sites, platforms, apps, devices, etc., fragmentation is worse than in traditional media.

Here’s the catch with access with so many choices – it used to be we were limited to a geographical area and becoming the best in our area meant success. Now, we can reach around the world and have the “best” delivered, with free shipping, to our door step in a matter of days. Similar products, with similar quality, at similar price points makes for a sea of commoditization. The only thing that separates your “best in the world” stuff from the hundreds of others’ “best in the world” stuff is your brand. The human emotion that is associated with your company and product.

When you are looking to market or work with an advertising agency, don’t be fooled that you need a “digital agency”. Most understand the technical aspects, but many don’t have deep experience of what it takes to create a meaningful brand. What you need is a firm who understands how to create and build brands because the core principles are the same regardless if they are on your smart phone, tablet, TV or in-store point-of-purchase. Consumers naturally connect all of their sources, digital and traditional media to form their emotional opinion.

It is brand that people use to narrow down their multitude of choices. If you are not a known brand that has emotional meaning, you aren’t even in the conversation. This is why Mr. Pritchard says Procter & Gamble is in the brand building business. He knows their primary job is to tell compelling stories and create creative campaigns that can be told using multiple tools, all things digital being one of them.

If you want to build an empire, build a brand.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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