Siva Gane­shanan­dan, Direc­tor, Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Suite, Adobe APAC – LinkedIn, @sivagatwork

“Every­thing is dig­i­tal now,” said the mar­ket­ing exec­u­tive I was sit­ting down to have a cof­fee with dur­ing a break in last week’s Mar­cus Evans Mar­ket­ing Sum­mit, held on Australia’s Gold Coast. For me, dig­i­tal is so cen­tral to the mar­ket­ing world I inhabit, that I take its ubiq­uity for granted. But I noticed that for many of the audi­ence of more than 60 mar­keters attend­ing the event, espe­cially those from the B2B sec­tor, the expe­ri­ence was a real eye-opener.

What really stood out for me was that for some of the lead­ers in their sec­tors – such as Vir­gin Mobile and Qan­tas, dig­i­tal was not thought of as a sep­a­rate chan­nel that required a spe­cific bud­get. Rather, it was an inte­gral part of their over­all mar­ket­ing strat­egy. One senior mar­keter from an iconic Aus­tralian brand said he could see major cam­paigns in the future com­pris­ing purely dig­i­tal – per­haps even leav­ing out free to air TV from the mix.

With dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing fully bed­ded down into the mar­ket­ing mix, not sur­pris­ingly mobile and social were the areas of inter­est at the event.  Social played a role in every case study pre­sen­ta­tion  – but there was cer­tainly a divide between the con­sumer mar­keters who were fully engaged  and the B2B mar­keters, for whom there was still clearly an air of cau­tious­ness about ‘being on social’. But the ‘dig­i­tal divide’ wasn’t as clear-cut as B2C ver­sus B2B or large com­pa­nies ver­sus smaller organ­i­sa­tions, or about the size of the budget

Mar­ket­ing guru Iggy Pin­tado (@iggypintado) deliv­ered a keynote on social, empha­siz­ing that we need to be able to prove its busi­ness value beyond purely mar­ket­ing KPIs – some­thing that even the most sophis­ti­cated mar­keters are strug­gling with. Another inter­est­ing idea that was raised dur­ing the sum­mit was from Justin Papps of Chan­dler Macleod, who has started using Face­book as a chan­nel of pay­ment to their employees.

I sat on a panel to talk about trends and direc­tions in Mobile Mar­ket­ing. An on-the-podium SWOT analy­sis done by the panel together with all the net­work­ing dis­cus­sions con­firmed in my mind what the reports say: there are more Strengths and Oppor­tu­ni­ties around dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, includ­ing social, than there are Weak­nesses and Threats. Indeed the biggest threat was sim­ply being late to the party, and los­ing out to the competition.

Over cof­fee with my new mar­ket­ing exec­u­tive friend, we ran a sim­ple search on Twit­ter. Sure enough, it proved his brand was in fact already ‘on social’. Just because his orga­ni­za­tion hadn’t started their social strat­egy, didn’t mean they were not already in the game. Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing really is every­where, the oppor­tu­ni­ties are ter­rific and the time to inte­grate is now.

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