The Digital Divide – Huh?

The notion that there is a divide between digital marketing and traditional marketing based on whether the technology used is analogue or digital is really a little ridiculous.

This thought was all sparked by a conversation I had with a prominent industry person yesterday. We were talking about the state of digital and traditional marketing in South Africa. During that entire conversation I felt that we were on different planets, as though our point of departure was entirely different. I concluded that I must be  communicating badly and when I thought about it I realized a reason.

The marketing, adverting and for that matter digital industry often think of digital as a medium. That your job is to have a smart idea that you push onto the customer and you use the media they use because then they will see it. This allows traditional ad agencies to think that because they have a digital or interactive section they are in the game. That digital is a channel. This is where the thinking is flawed.

Marketing needs to change because the way people find things out, how they learn, how they connect and so how ideas spread has changed. Its a fundamental behavioural change.

People are still people and brands are still brands, but neither behave the way they once did.

If you use new channels in the same way that you used old channels then the new channels wont work, they wont just work because they are digital You can rethink the way you use the traditional channels – so that they do work.

The divide is not between digital and traditional, or new media and old or anything like that. The divide is between those who cant understand the changing consumers and those who can. Its not a debate between media types its a debate about how ideas spread.

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Posted on January 16, 2010 at 8:39 am by Walter Pike · Permalink
In: Advertising, internet, Marketing, Uncategorized · Tagged with: , , , ,