Bob's Blog

Digital marketing isn't everything

coffee-2565442_640.jpgAnyone who has been involved in marketing for any length of time – over thirty years in my case – may well have noticed that the digital specialists seem, for reasons unknown, to have distanced themselves from the longer established marketing disciplines. Curious. We involve ourselves in the digital side of media when it is appropriate for our clients’ needs, but not for when it’s not. Certainly, for some of the digital specialists that I’ve met, this is not the same from their perspective. Digital or nothing, they claim. In distancing themselves from other marketing disciplines, they have done the rest of us a bit of a favour, particularly for those of us that have a strap line of ‘Marketing without the Bull’. Let me explain.

When the internet really started to get a foot-hold, a click over twenty years ago at the time of writing, the two biggies of incumbent media, radio and television, unsurprisingly got a little twitchy. News reports of the time consistently branded the web as a lawless, unregulated den of iniquity to be avoided at all costs, not that they were entirely wrong. But gradually, once it was clear that the internet wasn’t going to go away, the tone softened and little by little, the media involved started to collaborate; tech-luvvie journalists particularly from the States labelled this as convergence and coined many new phrases essentially to sound grand and complicated thereby creating a whole new lexicon of, well, bollocks. Sounds familiar?

It seems, then, that the internet has become unique among all media in that it has developed its own vernacular, practitioners appear to want to stand aloof in not recognising the validity of any other media, and seem to relish in lurking in their self-created smoke-screen of obfuscation, and thus not doing themselves any favours. With reference to the title of this piece, the digital world really needs to sort its PR out. It would seem that trying to prise any taxation out of the hands of these digital giants, be they social media platforms, smart phone manufacturers or retail, is like trying to squeeze blood out of the proverbial. Kids are killing themselves, and the platforms won’t release the posts or records to the parents, while the smart phone manufacturers claim that they can’t unlock their own technology and deliver the data to the grieving. On top of all that, the price comparison websites for the travel market have had their collective knuckles rapped for misleading their customers a to exactly what is or isn’t available at what price.

If this sounds like we’re ‘having a go’ at the digital world, we’re not. We use digital too, and as stated earlier, have no hesitation in recommending its use where appropriate. What we’re doing is holding up a mirror for the digital specialists to have a look into, providing they can see through the fog of their own creation. In the meantime, we’ll continue ploughing our own furrow and in doing so, reassure our clients that there still is ‘Marketing without the Bull’ to be found.