The coming digital marketing renaissance

Digital marketing is poised for a renaissance!

Digital Marketing Should Be More Than An Ad-On

Digital marketing is poised for a renaissance. While there have been significant marketing advances since the Internet was launched in 1999, outdated models of management/organizational structure continue to plague the industry. The coming revolution is not going to spring from tech breakthroughs but a top-to-bottom change in organizations.

The main problem is that digital tech departments are still just ‘bolted on’ to long-standing organizational structures and processes. Yes, there have been impressive results, but they are too often more flash than substance.

We’ve been down this path before, the best example of which was the introduction of electricity in the nineteenth century. For 20 years, business and government leaders falsely believed they understood how to utilize that new technology, when, in fact, they had no clue. While adding manufacturing plant electrical motors and electric lighting did quickly result in greater efficiency and other advancements, it took decades for business leaders to realize the benefits of putting electricity at the core of their operations. Subsequently, manufacturing moved farther away from power sources and into commercial centers, drastically reducing the need for labor and enhancing ROI across the board.

Missed Opportunities

In most organizations, digital marketing is confined to its own silo. Some organizations have already moved away from that insular model with the integration of ‘horizontals.’ However, the inefficient silo structure is still largely intact. Why? Income streams, commissions, and projects are easier to track using the old structure. Agencies prefer to continue making money just as they did before despite the clear evidence that online readers/consumers respond to media in entirely new ways, with promising new potential for marketing breakthroughs falling from view.

  • The roots of the current impasse began in the 1970s when media and creative business segments were separated. As a result, the post-2000 explosion of media channels created a plethora of 400 digital agencies by 2012. This has resulted in numerous work overlaps and persistent obstacles to efficient management.
  • In 2006, “Interactive” was redefined as “digital.” This only reinforced the segregation of digital marketing as a separate silo.
  • The consensus was that it was best to keep media, advertising, branding, and PR as verticals. However, it would have been far better ten years ago to have created horizontal structures to accommodate emerging innovation in social media and mobile.

The Solution Is To Integrate Digital Marketing Across Business Silos

If the more efficient, creative flatter organizational matrix were implemented in private and public organizations, a large percentage of agencies would close shop. However, this wouldn’t necessarily involve a reduction in workforce because marketing professionals could easily shift to new jobs within emerging horizontal structures. The greatest benefit would be that campaigns would be able to draw upon a much broader range of creative input, comprised of a rich array of talented people in areas not directly under the aegis of marketing management.

This advancement would generate greater forward momentum in improving smartphone digital marketing capabilities, now the single most important advertising venue. The same is true of Virtual Reality (VR) devices. The first such product, Oculus Rift, was introduced to the market on Monday of this week. The price is $599 less tax and shipping. If you like gaming and have the disposable income, you may already be considering the pros and cons of this product, or perhaps you’re saving your money for later releases.