Digital Marketing is Dead?

According to Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble’s global brand building officer, “…the era of digital marketing is over. It’s almost dead.”

Good to know. Thanks. Everybody pack up and go home. Don’t forget to turn out the lights on the way out…

I’d like to think that Marc’s a little smarter than that, maybe too smart. Could this possibly be a ploy to use the viral nature of that very same “dead” medium to spread his and his company’s name throughout the media?

He backs up his claim by pointing to a successful online only campaign they ran for a Braun shaver that ignored traditional marketing. Wait, what?  “It wasn’t the digital component. It was the campaign,” he declared, explaining that it proved to the company what could be achieved in the digital world.

Oh, so now it makes sense. The fact that they were able to run a successful digital campaign proves that digital is dead. So, if he had run this exact same experiment on TV, would that prove that TV was dead?

Marc goes on to say: “Start in the digital world and build your way back to the rest of the marketing mix. Our best agencies do that right now…it’s an approach that is building our brand equities, our sales and our profits.” He calls the strategy ‘Digital Back’, and implies that digital is the cornerstone of his strategy, which makes this all the more confusing.

He’s not wrong when he states that it’s not the medium, it’s the message. But where he loses me is in the claim that one specific medium is dead because all campaigns need to start with a good idea. A great message is key, no doubt about it, but a great message locked in a bottle won’t generate any results. It requires a delivery mechanism, and digital is becoming a more and more powerful delivery mechanism every day.

Digital is dead, long live Digital!

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