Imagine that you have traveled the same route for years and it has always automatically got you from A to B. In other words, you attained your goal and reached your destination. Of course, you may well have varied some elements of the journey but essentially it has always been a well-trodden route.
Then along comes the future.
Marketing people are now seeing the world as they knew it turned on its axis, with new technologies pushing forward the boundaries of market engagement and interaction. The effect is the creation of a new frontier of digital marketing and an advanced civilization of PR experts (if they can evolve and survive).
Dimensions of Digital Space Time
Ignoring tech disruption (and innovative technology-based marketing tools) is a mistake. Market developments are not simply going to disappear. Instead, they are becoming so embedded in how the world communicates that they are second-nature rather than a new-fangled fad or afterthought, as we may have once believed.
Marketing professionals need to get real and embrace integration.
There is no room for nostalgic protection of tradition in the brave new digital arena. Marketing departments not willing to modernize run the real risk of being usurped by competitors utilizing a wider range of marketing skills.
The digital world transforms marketing into a multi-dimensional model, with routes running off at tangents in all directions, yet ultimately meeting at some core campaign point.
How Do Marketing Professionals Integrate Technology?
Wordsmiths are adept at creating a fresh narrative and boosting a brand through clever slogans, wellpitched press releases and creative copy. What they are less skilled at, in general, are the demands of social media marketing, sponsored ad campaigns on Instagram, Twitter and Google and native advertising content. They are less used to integrating Paid Media, Earned Media, Shared Media and Owned Media (PESO) in a customized marketing strategy that draws on the tech marketing tools available.
Even distribution of brand messages through publications has been revolutionized with Outbrain and Taboola conquering media channels through Content Discovery online. Facebook alone, by offering businesses an increasing number of tools to reach ‘friends’, sets the digital standard. Some marketing experts are focused on refreshing their skills to become the PR professionals of the future. However they may find that they need to go further than adopting add-on competencies.
One logical solution is for marketing departments to expand who they integrate as part of their marketing team. What is also important is creating mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships with experts who hold the key to technology; it is true that techie types generally do not have the necessary writing skills to create content.
However, with so much digital content requiring a good grasp of distribution, digital departments are expanding to incorporate writers and marketing gurus, edging traditional marketing departments out the frame.
PR companies need to hold hands with tech experts rather than turn their backs on innovation. If not, they could be swallowed whole by tech teams hungry to feed the market’s demands. Likewise, marketing departments need to reach out to PR agencies that are fully integrating with technology today.
It is not enough for brands to understand and adopt new technologies either. What is required for the new tech narrative to really develop is to think about campaigns and strategies with technology at the forefront – directing, influencing and contributing to digital content and content distribution.
Mobile apps, social media and advances in online search engines and business tools – technology is changing the way individuals communicate and the task of brand managers is to learn this new language and begin to converse in a fluent, natural and engaging way. Creativity and strong content is still at the core of marketing, but it flows along digital channels forged through tech developments, symbolizing the advanced direction of PR’s place in future civilizations.