Digital Marketing Is Dead; Long Live Post-Digital Marketing: What It Means For CMOs

In days gone by, when a British monarch died, the town crier would roam the streets of London calling out, “The king is dead. Long live the King.” This seemingly contradictory statement announces the beginning of a new regal era. The old king is dead; long live the new king. In 2013, the old era of siloed digital marketing ended and a new era of what Forrester calls post-digital marketing began. There was no official town crier and so perhaps you missed these headlines:
  • January 2013: Forrester’s David Cooperstein observed, “We are at another inflection point, as we move from digital marketing as a renegade effort to post-digital marketing . . . We are entering a world where digital innovation is merging with traditional marketing fundamentals to create new approaches, new brand leaders, and new models for success.”
  • September 2013: Procter & Gamble’s Global Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard echoed this sentiment when he declared the end of the digital marketing era, saying that all digital marketing is “just brand building.” 
  • November 2013: L’Oreal’s Marc Speichert comments that his top priority in his new role as global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) "is thinking about digital as a catalyst for change and marketing reinvention.

What does this post-digital era mean for CMOs? These marketing chiefs have many modern town criers from which to send out their messages — TV, digital, social, mobile —requiring a new way to plan their brand communications. In my new report, “Create A Connected Communications Plan for The Post-Digital Era,” I show how marketers must shift from campaign planning to connected planning and that a unifying platform is the catalyst to connected communications planning. This unifying platform must: 

  • Connect with customers through an emotional action. For example, Coca-Cola’s “Open Happiness” goes beyond category benefit of refreshment to the higher order emotional benefit of joy.
  • Communicate the connected story across the best channels. Each channel should tell a different part of the brand story. 
  • Define contextual connection. Align messaging strategy based on where customers are on their buying journey, the platform they are on, and the device they are using. 

How are you transforming your marketing communications plan for the post-digital age?


Digital Marketing

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