Discussions and Workshops

Discussions and Workshops are 1 hour sessions suggested and led by Stream participants. Read on for the latest thinking with topics ranging from "Inclusive innovation in Africa: what is next?" to "Are we creating a digital dystopia?". For more, go to the Stream Medium page and YouTube. Or for a daily dose of Stream, you can find us on Twitter or Instagram.


Mark von Bentheim

Virgin Active

Digital. Just another media channel?

Why has the concept of everything "digital" being elevated to a level of Greek mythological god-like status? If one stands back and looks at it from a from a strategic marketing perspective, it is just another media channel that delivers against an overall marketing and communication strategy. Or does it deserve to be treated differently? Currently a number of creative ideas are driven from a "digital" perspective, dictating how a brand communicates itself, forcing other channels to follow it (I know I've been in the trenches and seen this happen). "Digital", it appears, is trying to establish itself as an individual that leads, but should it simply be finding it's role within a team and let marketing strategy lead? Marketing is marketing; if the principles of it remain the same regardless of what channels are being used, why the over focus of everything “digital”? Is it a bad thing to allow the evolution of marketing to result in "digital" leading a marketing strategy or campaign? Is it a result of how social media has influenced the world we live in and made conversations with consumers more immediate? Is it a result of agencies wanting to showcase new talents and offerings, to be leaders within the marketplace and to drive brands and clients into an “unknown” (albeit known) world? Is it really the future and that marketing principles haven’t been developed for the new world order? Is it time we ditched the D-word and just developed marketing strategies and creative ideas that are best for the brand and then utilise the best channels that will deliver the desired objectives? If we interact more with the digital devices that are attached to our hands more than ‘traditional’ media like radio, print and TV, does it not follow that that is our primary opportunity to interact with our potential markets; but not at the compromise of marketing strategy and principles? Should we not investigate the marketing principles and test them to see if they still apply, or still apply in the same proportions, if the environment has changed? What does "digital" provide marketers and insights that other channels don't as we move towards devices that track movements and create transparency between consumers and brands? A controversial topic to some. However, let's debate this and shape it for ourselves.

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