I recently attended a three-day Digital Acceleration course coordinated by Hyper Island. The people who attended had a wide range of marketing backgrounds, from agency and client experience to educators and entrepreneurs. As I hoped, the course topics, presenters and attendee participation helped transform my perspective of Digital Marketing.
It’s common for marketers (including me) to use the word “digital” loosely and abundantly. You hear of agencies that like to tout their “digital-first” marketing approach, while other broad medium agencies promote “digital marketing” as one part of their full-service capabilities. Then you have the marketers who use the word “digital” simply to describe media, including music and photography.
While a “digital-first” strategy and the evolution from film to digital photography are significant advancements, I‘ve concluded that they don‘t have the most critical impact on the marketing landscape. What does? The behaviors these digital shifts create.
As marketers, we mustn‘t focus on the digital technology itself, but on how it affects the behavior of our target consumers, the people in their network and their network‘s behavior.
For example, the digital photos on a mobile phone are far less significant than how consumers use them. Mobile technology enables consumers to easily capture more photos than ever before and share them via various social networks. That‘s the real insight.
To truly make an impact on digital marketing, we must study the behaviors and values of networks and then leverage technology to immerse ourselves in their rituals. Only then can we become a part of the digital network and have the opportunity as marketers to influence the mindset of consumers.