It isn’t digital marketing – it’s marketing

I just wrote the title of this post and then looked at my list of categories and saw that one of them is “digital marketing”. Perhaps I should change that!

At any rate, I am attending Digital Summit Philadelphia, a conference for digital marketing professionals. One of the presenters said “you are not a digital staffer, you are a staffer. It’s not digital marketing, it’s marketing.”

In the early days of digital marketing, digital was differentiated from traditional marketing. Traditional meaning TV and print ads. Digital was this shiny new thing that people were still testing out. Marketing via social media and search engines and such.

In 2009, I was working for the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, and I set up their social media presence. I signed us up for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Our parent company was just dipping its toes into thinking about using social media. I was on an internal committee to figure out how to use it.

Now, it is eight years later (holy wow!), and organizations have been using social media since the day before forever. They are using paid ads on search and social with normal frequency.

With TV, radio, and print ads, you can get an approximation of how many people might be, but are not guaranteed to be, seeing or listening to your ad based on the size of total circulation.

With digital ads, you can see exactly how many people are being served your ads. And how many are clicking on them. And how many made a purchase because of them.

Traditional ads can’t show you direct return on investment. Digital can. And that’s why it has become the norm.

I don’t think traditional marketing is dead by a longshot. However, I don’t think there’s a need to differentiate between traditional and digital. It’s all part of the same discipline called marketing.

Whichever tools get the job done best for you, use them.

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