Is Digital Marketing Dead?

digital-marketing1Marketers like to proclaim that the medium which they know best is the be-all and end-all of advertising solutions.

Digital marketers are no exception. But it’s becoming clearer than ever that no one platform alone can reach consumers everywhere they live today.

For example. digital marketing works best when it’s integrated into multiple platforms. So at CBS, that might mean having a compelling presence on TV and radio in the nation’s most important local markets, in addition to exposure on owned and operated web sites and streaming services like

And even more important than platform, marketers need to make sure they’re having a compelling consumer conversation rather than simply ticking off an impression. All the banner ads or TV spots in the world will only go so far if they aren’t entertaining. Want people to remember you? You’d better be funny. Or touching. Or shocking. Or surprising.

“Boundaries between channels are disappearing, and customers expect experiences they personally value,” Mark Floisand writes in AdWeek.

That’s because the lines are blurring, now more than ever. We live in a multi-platform world where TV, smartphone, radio and out-of-home are all part of a 360-degree whole.

Metrics like impressions are being tabled in favor of engagements and interactions. While getting your message in front of consumers is still valuable, great marketers are having conversations with consumers. Those conversations happen on (and span across) different mediums. Whether it’s a TV spot that spurs a Twitter conversations, a product that launched on Kickstarter or a Google search that started with Yelp reviews and ended in an online purchase. To succeed, marketers need to operate seamlessly across platforms.

Kickstarter works because consumers are a part of something bigger, but not every brand can cash in on pre-launch excitement. Bigger brands still can build meaningful relations by actively engaging their audience, however. “Experience marketing is about owning every interaction that a customer has with a brand, in both the physical and digital worlds, and creating a continual, relevant experience that wins customers for life,” Floisand writes.

Meaningful engagement is impossible, however, without an intimate knowledge of your consumer. Brands need to speak meaningfully and locally in a way that invites dialogue and interaction. While analytics are an amazing tool to understand consumer spending habits, purchasing histories and preferences, it’s still no replacement for local marketers who are embedded in the communities that they want to speak to.

Digital marketing isn’t dead, or even outdated, because it’s become part of something much more valuable to marketers: a message that’s everywhere.  And just being engaging and entertaining may be the most important thing of all.