Last Wednesday I spoke on a keynote panel at DM Days focused on the future of digital marketing and how it played a role in our business culture today relative to budgets, decision making, key successes, measurement and trends. The panel was moderated by Scott Delea from Digital Grit, and included me, Bryan Eisenberg from FutureNow, Rodney Spady from Novartis and Hillary Evans from Y & R’s Brand Buzz.
It was an open panel focused around the future of digital, but had a few highlights I thought would be fun to share with you. One of the elements discussed was that digital marketing budgets are reported to be 7% of total marketing spend—and the question was, is that accurate?
We all gave our thoughts, and my comment that we are undervaluing the budgetary commitment to digital marketing resonated with most people. While traditional marketing budget fell within marketing groups only, digital marketing can be seen in all aspects of the company—advertising, call centers and face to face. When you consider the total investment on digital efforts, the number is closer to 27%.
Another item discussed was, what is the one thing that will help marketers move into a digital space quickly? My response was database alignment. But not just relying on enhancements to current enterprise databases, but intelligently mapping current legacy databases to the digital data available via other channels, like Google and other data centers. This way of managing and collecting behavioral and demographic data will push us light years into the future.
Lastly, we spoke about email and how, in the digital world, the landscape is getting crowded. With all of the new digital channels out there, the customer can very quickly become confused as to where to focus attention, and how to focus attention on marketing. Email acts as a guide to keep people on track.
One thing I walked away with from this panel was a new appreciation for the power of digital in our marketing and advertising world. I wonder what the next great way for marketers to leverage this vehicle will be.