Digital Comes of Age – Again!

It MUST Be So!

It MUST Be So!

Letter From Jordan

Digital is Coming of Age – Again!

Did I just hear that 2009 was the year of digital marketing?  I thought 2008 was – or was it 2007?  Well, for us in Jordan (and across the Levant for some of our clients) we are going to ensure that 2009 is the year of the digital coming of age.

There is no doubt that it was a slow digital start to 2009 for us but,  we now have our Jordan clients firmly pointed in the right direction and finally we have web and digital marketing on the agenda – we hope for the longterm..

But, why this year in particular?  Well, the global credit squeeze has a lot to answer for but, accountability and Return on Investment are two positives for everyone in digital-land.  Where else can clients truly find accurate results that genuinely deliver behavioural insights. Data is the unstoppable force in the future of marketing. In our rapidly changing times, marketers must be more rigorous than ever to justify investment.  Data from digital an online facilitates this. Jack Welch General Electric once said that “there are only two sources of competitive advantage: the ability to learn more about our customers faster than the competition and the ability to turn that learning in to action faster than the competition”.  So, if this belief is true, the recession not has and will help us digital types to be seen as delivering ROI but, also true competitive edge.

But, all swords have edges and most swords – of course are double edged.  Our challenge – as Hans Rosling, professor of international health at Karolinska Institute in Sweden says – we must bring data that we have available to life.  “few people will appreciate the music if we only show them the notes.  Most of us need to listen to the music to understand how beautiful it is – but, often with data we show the notes and forget to play the music”.

Recently I wrote about the skills crunch in Jordan (and the world).  Well, it’s true in digital also – In the communications industry today we need people who are part scientist, part artist, all creative.  In the UK the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) call them ‘Diagonal Thinkers – but, they have also been coined by some as ‘Data-Punks’!  These ‘Diagonal Thinkers’ will fuse information with imagination to take us into the age of ‘informagination’. The beauty of digital and online is that it allows not only meshing of communication through different media channels but, it allows us to entwine our audience in a true brand experience.

A Creative Director friend of mine who was working until recently with a big agency Team in Jordan asked me if I genuinely thought that he should learn more about web and digital.  Naturally, this scared me that anyone in the communications industry would even ask such a question.  Anyway my answer was that I felt that it was slightly too late to start now.  All the time agencies are nervous about dipping their toes in the digital water, there will be more years of opportunity for digital advocates. The challenge for agencies is to hunt for the ambidextrous minds that can fuse science and art into compeling stories – it’s a mix of brains and balls that will define the next generation of creative hotshops. Roll on 2010, 2011 and 2012 as digital continues to come of age…


~ by rtymerej on September 23, 2009.

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