Is Digital Marketing Destroying Marketing As A Whole?

Looking into the future of marketing many times forces us to look into the past. What has worked? What hasn’t? Is there something that was executed poorly that could be re-integrated into a more current strategy? But looking at the past faces of marketing might make marketers of today nervous, and for good reason. TechCrunch released an article on how the use of Google Analytics has changed marketing, and in their opinion, changed it for the worse.

Simply stated, Google Analytics has allowed marketers to focus solely on digital methods, sometimes getting poorer results than could be expected if strategies and channels were paid more attention to in the overall view of what marketing can be. Marketing has shifted completely from the advertising empire that was so renowned in the days of Madison Avenue. Gone are the days of a basic strategy and here are the days of separate and not usually equal use of marketing channels.  

This isn’t to say that digital marketing isn’t important. In fact, with the amount of people who own computers, cell phones and other devices, digital marketing (which includes social media, native advertising, influencer marketing and any mobile marketing or apps) and mobile marketing have rightfully become some of the top ways to generate more customers and revenue as well as increase public knowledge of brands.

The deceiving part of this is that at least in the United States, people are spending more and more time watching TV, with the daily time devoted to television almost equal with the amount of time spent working (According to this article from the Washington Post). But television marketing isn’t something that you hear many marketers discuss on a day to day basis, especially in the world of startups, where money is tight and marketing efforts need to do more for less.

The reasoning behind this may be that marketers of today don’t fully comprehend differences of what content, channel, and strategy are. Just like television is a channel for advertising, channels in digital marketing can be search results, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat a blog and any other platform you may think of. Content is what you post on these channels: videos, blogs, images, testimonials, the list goes on and on. And the backbone of it all: strategy. Strategy can be advertising, promotion, SEO, publicity, personal selling, direct marketing, essentially asking what the purpose of content on a specific channel is.

For marketing to work as it is supposed to, marketers need to go back to basics and relearn how they connect with their audience and for what purpose. Google Analytics does not deliver you the information you need to decide if the return on investment (ROI) you get from social media is from any specific strategy, which negates any ability to change or improve a strategy if all you see is that the ROI is there and often comes across as “good enough”.

Google Analytics is without a doubt useful and important to continue using, but the key to overall marketing success is remembering that it A) does not track all marketing efforts (only online campaigns) and B) does not always give you the details you need to make the strongest decisions for your overall marketing quality. Branch out and learn about other ways you can track your ROI and success, try new content and channels. You never know what strategies might work for you.

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