Adapt or Die – Are They Only Alternatives?


The evolution of the digital marketer is constant and unrelenting, and in an article on ‘Digital Darwinism’ posted at PandoDaily.com, Brian Solis makes the case that traditional marketers need to update their skill set to include digital or run the risk of being irrelevant. I think he’s right in a hundred ways, but mostly that the trend to digital is well past the early stage and seriously into being a fixed element in the markets bag of tricks – at least that is, as a marketer, you’re paying attention.  

The legacy of the evolutionary path we’re on is rooted in the days of services like Compuserve and AOL, where walled communities were built around topics and times were wild and wooly in figuring out the way online marketing worked. In at least one case we know of a community for truck owners was sponsored by a tire company – by trading a set of tires for banner ads. A lot has changed since then and no longer is the social marketing world a place to ‘experiment’ with your brand, it’s a place for connecting to consumers and businesses and having a conversation. In his article though, Brian presents 10 Trends for Transformation that show the way for the evolving marketer – leadership, vision, strategy, culture, people, innovation, influence, localization, intelligence, philanthropic capitalism.

Each trend is called out by Brian and explored in his post on PandoDaily, but three really caught my eye – strategy, innovation and philanthropic capitalism.  

As an online strategist, I see a lot of marketing that seems to be done in a haphazard way, without any consideration for 1) how it connects to the organizations corporate goal and 2) for establishing success metrics and measuring how well the campaign does. A marketing plan needs to rest on goals established by management and needs to be established so that the impact of the plan and its campaigns can be determined and learned from – better campaigns can be extended, poor ones cut off sooner.

On the other hand, innovation in social marketing is busting at the seams – cool new ways of combining social, location and ecommerce is coming to the forefront every day.  It is really a great time to be in social marketing because everything we can envision today, can almost certainly be a reality tomorrow.  Not all of it will work well of course, but the decision of whether or not something is attractive to the social audience should be left to the audience.  Prudence and respect for the audience aside, we can try new ideas almost as fast as they leap into the brain.

The concept of philanthropic capitalism is really intriguing and the reason it’s on this short list.  The way core values of the company have been portrayed to the market have been summarized in tag lines and images embedded in advertising, but now the conversations between consumers, suppliers, employees and stakeholders of all kinds factor into how the brand is perceived.  Treat your customers well and deliver an awesome customer experience, but not at the expense of your employees.  Likewise you can use mined, milled or grown materials in your product, but not at the expense of the planet and finally, respect the community you glean your workers from and charitably contribute to the common good.

Brian’s article does well in bringing many of these trends into the conversation, but these three I see representing important elements that have to be acknowledged by marketers in ways that have not been done before and if ignored, mean that the marketer is not less strong, or less intelligent – but if they are not more adaptable than the next guy, they will go the way of the Dodo and the Wooly Mammoth.

Original Article by Brian Solis at PandoDaily  

Image Credit: Bigstock.com