There have been some rumblings and speculations on the next era in digital. Post Digital, to be exact. Some experts believe we are in a post digital era right now. We have been dealing with digital marketing and advertising for over 15 years now. Some of us may feel like we are just getting used to dealing in digital terms, and wrapping our heads around all that is digital. Can you relate? Then what exactly does “post digital” mean? So what would a post digital world look like? First, let’s start at the beginning.
As the internet & technology grew, so did the ability to reach consumers in this new medium. Advertisers, ad agencies and businesses all wanted to figure out how to master it all. Remember how we used to call internet advertising “interactive”? Then it morphed into “digital” then we added “social”, the ever elusive “content” and of course “mobile”. To this day, most agencies have separate departments dedicated to the above “channels” in advertising, separate from their traditional mediums like branding, PR, and electronic media like television, print and radio. While this may have made sense from an agency structure standpoint, it made zero sense from a client management perspective. In the best of agencies, these campaigns were developed independently then sewn together after being created rather than having all channels relate and interact with one another from the get go.
Digital was even more of an afterthought for smaller businesses when advertising and marketing was being dealt with in house. Often times you had a business owner handling their own advertising efforts with the help of a marketing director. Then they realized the need to participate in the digital realm in the way of websites, SEO, social media and such. The marketing director was already overloaded with ad proofing, PR, setting up company events, so how do they deal with digital marketing, especially if they had no experience with it? At best a college intern was brought in, or worse, a young family relative who “knows all that web stuff” to bridge traditional and digital media. If I had a dime for the number of “Facebook pages or websites set up by someone’s niece who is now away at college and we don’t know how to access it” situations, I would be a wealthy woman.
So fast forward to 2016. For some agencies and businesses, things have changed exponentially. Putting together teams who can take the vision and brand for a company and distribute to the appropriate channels is the direction most agencies are going. Smaller business owners are outsourcing to professionals who can see the big picture for their business and how best to utilize all channels for the most effective results. For those behind the bell curve, there is still struggle to put it all together effectively and efficiently.
So that brings us to Post Digital. Soon we will live in a world where there is no distinction for advertisers or consumers between digital and traditional mediums. News, TV and radio will no longer exist as we have known for years, and “digital” will be the norm, without need for a separate definition. The way we consume media and entertainment will forever be altered. It will only be us old timers saying, “remember when we had TV channels and we had to wait for our shows to come on” or “remember when we first started using Facebook?” According to a guest post on MediaShift, “We need to reinvent marketing for the new age; we need to transform with digital at the heart and as a new way of thinking, not a tool;…” Are we there yet? In some aspects we are very close. I see things making a more drastic change in the next 4-5 years as more and more technology and ideas come to the surface making the consumption of media a very personalized experience. I find myself constantly feeling amazed and blessed to live in such a time. A time when I have been able to experience the “pre-digital” world as it has become more and more tech oriented, and now to be able to use these new technologies in my everyday life as well as my career.
If you need help developing a seamless strategy for your business in this “pre-post digital” age, please contact g2 media pros!