‘Tra-Digital’ Marketers Get the Job Done
To many who “grew up” in digital marketing, I look old. (Even to me, I look old these days.) For the record, I'm a marketer who is in my 50s.
However, despite that, I'm NOT a marketing dinosaur.
All you young guns in digital, don't count us old-school marketers out. It was our generation that created most of the constructs that modern digital marketers use daily.
I can tell you from 25 years of experience (time flies) that digital marketing is really just direct marketing on steroids. The concepts are the same; the delivery methods are just done in a different channel.
Digital marketers often associate "direct marketing" with direct mail, telemarketing, print ads and direct response TV. However, I define direct marketing as follows:
"The overarching business construct that defines digital marketing — building a two-way relationship directly with a customer or prospect, and done via a database."
Interestingly enough, my definition above is actually a paraphrase of the textbook definition of direct marketing.
I've been a marketing consultant since 1999. I do well as a consultant by applying the same principles l learned in mail order, cataloging and direct mail to the digital business model. Back in the the infancy of internet marketing, one of my first consulting projects was helping a fledgling online marketing and web development company apply direct marketing concepts with its digital clients.
In fact, I've been a web marketer for nearly 20 years! For instance:
- In 1998, I taught a major fashion magazine how to extend “brand time” by pushing people online with additional content from its print articles.
- In 1998, I ran my first online campaign with Yahoo.
- In 2000, I helped an early-stage email service provider go to market.
- In 2001, I was using email marketing pretty regularly.
- Again in 2001, I did my first search engine optimization campaign.
- Fast-forward to 2009, and I started using contests and freebies on Facebook (right when Facebook Business Pages launched) and Twitter to built some huge, deeply engaged communities.
- Also in 2009, I was asked to do my first social media lecture (this eventually led to my "The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing.")
Oh, and by the way, I still use direct mail, catalogs, print ads and DRTV to scale my clients’ businesses. These channels are infinitely and pin-pointedly targeted, measurable, and can drive exceptional and as I said SCALABLE results.
And I use SEO, PPC, conversion optimization, tripwires, funnels and drip campaigns, workflows, heat maps, social media, and, of course, email (to name but a few).
My belief is that ALL marketers should be channel agnostic. If through analysis I learn that there are buckets of prospects that look like my present customers in a particular channel — no matter what that channel is — I will test, revalidate and, if warranted, roll it out.
These are the words I live by and this is how I scale the clients to profitable.
A few weeks ago, I heard someone call me a "tra-digital" marketer. I think that fits perfectly, and use it all the time.
Old school (traditional) marketing + digital = success!
Thoughts? Leave a comment below.