Let's Stop Calling Everything Digital

Let's Stop Calling Everything Digital
Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

A good vocabulary shift you can make this year is to stop calling everything digital this, digital that. A famous meme of 2020 taught me that Digital Transformation wasn’t accelerated by the CEO or CDO but by Covid-19. Everywhere you look today in marketlandia, digital takes center stage: your insights are digitally sourced, your brands are digitally advertised, your path to purchase is digitized, and your purchase channels become more digital than ever. Given the ubiquity of the word digital, it’s time to remove it from our vocabulary, too, probably. In 2020, everything is digital, like in the late 1880s, everything became somehow electrical.

COVID 19 – A Wake-Up Call for Digital Transformation, Malak Adouch
Thanks @marketoonist.com

Just ten years ago, platforms like YouTube and Facebook were in their infancy and fighting for the crumbs of the media budgets. Every year since then, we wondered at the declining share of investment of Traditional media (TV, Print, and OOH) and the increase of Digital Media. It’s such a worthless stat to sit and admire or even target. No one outside our marketing bubble thinks of advertising as TV vs. Digital.

More important is the reach potential for each media format, irrespective of the pipes built to deliver the signal (pipes which are the same these days, too – all is digital).

Three things to remember or debate:

  1. Digital Media is not one thing – focus on people's behaviors, how they view, scroll, skip, multi-screen, or even engage with your content in various digital formats and channels. Focus less on “we need to be digital-first”, and focus on the details of today’s media.
  2. The most iconic campaigns transcend digital media and aim to become news in themselves. Guess who is also in charge of the amplification: all media, including TV.
  3. And last, if you can’t grab their attention, it doesn’t help that it is digital-first or TV last.

Digital is now everywhere like the air we breathe, so stop congratulating yourself for inhaling air and focus on its scent.

Stop calling everything digital.