This is part 1 of 3 in a series of posts answering, “WTD (What the Digital) in an effort to explain my opinion of the space I work in, and specifically what I do within that space. First, I’ll take a shot at answering “What is Digital?” Then I’ll provide my opinion on “What is Digital Strategy?” Following these initial two posts, I’ll make my very best effort to answer “What Do You Do?”
“What Is Digital?”
A typical response to this question will sound something like ”Digital is a lifestyle, a way of working, a platform, a new way of thinking, etc.” While I agree with all of these answers, I believe the concept of digital to be much simpler than all of that. To me, Digital is a really big and fun playground where customers, brands, friends, and competitors are meeting, talking, playing, and growing together. Digital has become commoditized and accessible to the point that it is no longer just a new set of technologies or an innovative platform; it’s simply a place to connect.
When we think of Digital in this manner, it becomes very simple to understand how it can be leveraged to benefit a brand or an organization. “Want to hangout with the artistic crowd? Great! They’re over by the swing set. Interested in the jocks? Perfect. They gather by the sand volleyball court.” Marketers can choose which platforms, tactics, networks, etc. to get involved with by figuring out where their customers already are and what “jungle gyms” they are currently playing on. Tying together an overview of the brand’s value, who the customer is, and how the brand intends to reach the customer is the baseline for a digital strategy.
The trouble for large enterprise-level brands has come when startups have entered their space, and nimbly set up new swing-sets and slides that are easier to get to. Kids are now in control of their own experiences on the playground, and have found new ways to have fun with their friends without waiting in line. It’s up to enterprise companies to innovate, create, connect, and provide their customers with accessible experiences that make it worth sticking around for.
Either way, there’s always something new coming around the corner. It’s up to us to decide if we want to jump in and play.