Certain people and organizations function better when all the lines and roles are clearly defined. They hold dear the job description and want orderly reporting structures. For these people, living in ambiguity, with unclear objectives in a constantly changing landscape feels like a nightmare. Waking up every day to new competitors, new laws, much less new technologies and terminologies, would make them want to crawl back into bed.
In this land of paradise, all individual objectives are perfectly aligned with the overall company’s overarching objectives. At the end of the year, the achievement of the quantitative and qualitative objectives are mutually understood and there are no surprises.
But, as we all know, life is not like that, especially not in the new media / digital age.
To begin with, I believe that the human mind needed to make “digital” a category unto itself, to recognize its difference. For several years, digital marketing has been considered as a separate beast from traditional marketing. Increasingly, however, as we go forward, it will be virtually impossible to distinguish one territory from the other such that digital marketing (or VIRTUAL marketing) will become tantamount to IRL (in real life) marketing.
Take the case of meeting people. It is said that 1 in 6 marriages in the US began with an online date. In my own circles, I find it increasingly difficult to remember how or where I met someone. Was it via a Tweet, at a business cocktail, a connection on Linkedin, a dinner with a mutual friend, or did it all start with a shared post on Facebook?
Marketers — and especially the digital marketers — are going to have to get used to the confused lines between virtual and IRL. And here is the BIG reason: the mobile. We will be connected wherever we go, on the go. All things, ultimately, will be connected (as in: the internet of the object). An email, an sms, a Facebook message or a skype call will all be happening through the same terminal on the smartphone, hence the need to get with the programme in m-marketing or mobile marketing. Ultimately, all will be virtually real and really virtual and those who get “it” and are most comfortable living in those foggy ‘confines’ will be best suited to create strong brands and vibrant marketing.