So, when the question arose over why everything was about digital during our final lunch, I wondered how someone could even ask such a thing. Isn't digital pervasive in every aspect of marketing; indeed in every aspect of business. I'm guessing this CMO was just concerned that so many topics focused on digital and social media almost to the detriment of leaving out other traditional topics – rather than how digital is woven through all we do as marketers. This CMO went on to clarify her point by suggesting additional content around more traditional marketing topics like advertising, promotions, creativity, etc. Perhaps CMOs are getting weary of the digital emphasis.
And yet, just yesterday Advertising Age published a story about more growth in digital. “Last year, US agencies generated 30.3% of revenue, or $10.1 billion, from digital, compared with 28% in 2010,” according to the article. “Digital revenue at agencies surged 16.4% in 2011, with growth across agency disciplines.”
Clearly digital is here to stay, thrive and expand with new technologies, platforms and devices. So, the subject matter at the CMO Club Summit around digital transformation, innovation in search, delivering with digital, ranking high on Google, innovation in mobile and bridging the digital divide were most clearly relevant for today’s CMOs. But perhaps we should also be thinking more cleverly around topics that are either languishing or relatively unexplored such as interactive television, diversity marketing, sponsorship and the like.
As a strong advocate for digital, I’ll happily gobble-up content around the subject and I’m always eager to hear about new developments. Equally though, I worry that we just grasp at the bright new shiny toys and forget our grounding in old-fashioned creativity, story-telling and coming up with the big idea which can be integrated across new – as well as more traditional – channels and platforms.