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Keeping up with the Joneses in Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is still in its infancy. It is growing so fast that many marketing professionals are abandoning methods and strategies that they may view now as traditional or legacy or even obsolete, to pursue digital marketing in hopes to stay ahead of the game and keep revenue coming in.  More often than not, I see them jumping from one trend to next to “stay relevant”. For example, when Facebook started picking up and businesses started to effectively use it, it became a must in your digital marketing plan. This was soon followed by Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. Each one became the go-to solution as an add-on to the previous or abandoning the previous solution all together. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to stay on trends and engage with them, but I think in the fear of falling behind in “relevance” marketing has become more hasty than strategic.

In the hastiness of “keeping up with the Joneses” in digital marketing, marketing professionals are not taking the time to learn to be strategic in their thinking and solution. Digital marketing and marketing, in general, is becoming a commodity industry. You need a website? BAM. Done. You need SEO? BAM. Done. You need a Facebook page? BAM. Done. Organizations want instant solutions with instant results, so many marketers have catered to and enabled this expectation. In the end, marketing professionals have become order takers.

I am starting to see an optimistic trend, however, in marketing. Marketers are starting to get tired of being order-takers and going back to the foundation of strategy first. I also think that as more and more brands begin to the vastness of multi-generational audiences, behaviors, and marketing channels, they are realizing that order taking marketing is a waste of time (and money), often shallow, therefore not reaching the right people. In the coming years, we are going to see more of a strategy-first mentality in marketing. Brands will see the value in it and will pursue partnership with agencies and consultants who understand it.

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