Have we now evolved beyond the Digital Age?

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The start of a new year always brings a flurry of opinion regarding the likely development and direction for the future of our industry. This year has been no exception; however alongside the usual projections on possible growth opportunities and technological advancements, the year has kicked off with a rather more interesting debate into the very moniker to which we give our existence and service.

The culprit is a new report from Forrester which riskily suggests that 2013 may be the year that Digital Marketing loses its prefix of ‘Digital’ due to marketers’ inherent reliance on digital channels as part of their marketing mix. It specifically predicts that digital will continue to influence all verticals and channels in 2013; from Retail feeling the pressures of Social Media recommendations through to broadcasters feeling threatened by online channels such as YouTube and the growing mass of home-based ‘experts’. In response, it proposes that over the coming months, marketers must expand the utility and value of the experience their brands deliver and embrace digital to an extent that it is their ‘Marketing’.

The reaction has, of course, been mixed with traditionalists rising to the “absurdity that we dare blend traditional with Digital”, whilst the more online savvy can’t see what all the fuss is about as they feel this natural evolution began way back in 2003 anyway when Google and Yahoo started to get a foothold.

Blog space and comment columns have therefore been busily growing day-by-day with many of the industry’s leaders muscling in to give their two pennies’ worth on the grounds behind the global intelligence specialists belief that ‘Marketing’ will indeed suffice as Digital continues to represent more of the marketing investment and planning pie.

Both sides of the argument actually have a point though. However, what is missing here is the fact that although our industry continues to grow, to expand and to develop, surely we are simply just responding to consumer need?

Here at Found, we’ve been in the thick of the evolution of Digital Marketing, driving greater acceptance and usage of one of its most robust facets – Performance Marketing. We’ve championed the discipline of payment on results across PPC, SEO, Social and Mobile becoming a solid and useful business model across all areas of online marketing behaviour and, more recently, seeping into offline activity too. The concept of greater digital acceptance is therefore an opportunity and not a threat for us.

With so many facets of Marketing becoming Digital it really is no surprise that we are not just gearing ourselves up to deliver this year’s Digital Marketing strategy but to deliver a 2013 Marketing strategy for a Digital world.