Is Digital Marketing Now Marketing?

December 11, 2015

As some of my friends and former colleagues know, I’m recently on the job hunt. This, of course, requires pulling together an updated resume, informative cover letters, and signing up for the myriad of online job boards now available.

While crafting a few different versions of my resume, each designed to highlight specific experiences and skillsets that would resonate with somewhat varying job descriptions, I had a new realization of my profession. Should digital/interactive marketing be considered just … marketing?

The short answer is likely, “no,” given the traditional channels that still exist, whether it be out-of-home billboards, radio, or national and spot television. However, almost all of these activations have evolved from, “call …” or “visit our store at …” to “visit us online at www …” for their primary consumer call-to-action.

I’ve considered myself an interactive marketing professional for quite some time now, and have defined my professional skillset around the convergence of IT, marketing, brand, and business development. All of these areas are now critical factors to any successful marketing campaign, and yet I don’t label myself as a marketer. But I should?

Could you, as a marketing professional, truly consider pitching a campaign today that didn’t include a web presence, engagement on social, email activation, or at the very least a branded URL? The convergence of our campaigns and activations now relies heavily, and somewhat solely, on information technology and digital engagement.

Yes, you can have a radio spot or print advert that is simply branded. However, chances are someone, likely higher-up in leadership, will want to know if the placement was, “effective,” or “generated any return on ad spend.” This can be very challenging for these channels, but can also be mitigated through successful CTAs to digital channels.

Which brings us back to my original question. Should digital and interactive marketers be evolved into the new general marketer? The concept of building robust, comprehensive campaigns, lead generation and nurturing, lifetime consumer value, cost of acquisition, ROI and ROAS all require at a minimum a fundamental understanding of the underlying platforms, most of which are interactive in nature. A general marketer MUST have an understanding of these tools and resources to build effective campaigns, in addition to understanding what is emerging from them so as to stay aware of and engaged in, “the next big thing.”

My guess is just like the term, “new media,” evolved into, “digital,” or, “interactive,” we’ll see a similar evolution into the skillset and expectations of the professional marketer. I’m actually excited to see that day, when my colleagues won’t be considered a separate seat at the table, but participate as the overarching marketing and brand voice in the conversation.

Post Tags:

Digital, Digital Marketing, Interactive, Interactive Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Evolution, ROAS, ROI,