My first hint that marketing world might be losing its digital religion came at a conference I spoke at more than a year ago. I opened by saying that if I heard the word ‘digital’ one more time, I might stick a fork in my eye (or words to that effect), and to my amazement was answered with several seconds of enthusiastic spontaneous applause. Since then the evidence has mounted that, while digital marketing platforms have their valid roles, they are falling far short of their promise to revolutionize marketing and make it perfectly efficient.
After a winter of disclosures about fraud added fuel to the fire, I finally wrote about it in my most recent column for Canadian Business. The response, quite simply, was greater by far than for any column I’ve ever written. This turns out to be a raw nerve in the marketing world right now, including among digital practitioners. And it wasn’t only because of digital’s current disappointing state, either. It was also about the idea that maybe it’s time we rediscovered the human side of marketing, that we remember to “walk a mile in the consumer’s shoes instead of just counting the footprints.”
I’m thinking about turning this into a keynote topic… it feels like a conversation we need to have. I’d love your comments.