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The convergence of rare disease, digital communications, and pharmaceutical marketing communications

Digital Marketing or Marketing in a Digital World?

Posted by | 12:35pm on Friday, March 30, 2012

The marketing monologue has turned into a conversation 

“We don’t believe in digital marketing. We believe in marketing in a digital world, and there’s a huge difference,” said Clive Sirkin, new chief marketing officer of Kimberly-Clark, in an Ad Age article.

I take this to mean that at Kimberly-Clark, digital marketing isn’t in a silo but incorporated as part of the larger marketing team. That interactive tactics are viewed as an integral part of a holistic marketing campaign. Marketing in a digital world still requires offline tactics—they just need to be fully integrated. I hope Sirkin is including social media in his use of the word digital because it’s essential that social media tactics support the overall company or brand marketing objectives.

Most of our target audiences are living in a digital world—one of multitasking, near constant noise, and information available 24/7. Interactive devices, especially smart phones, keep many of us constantly digitally connected. In just a few years, this access has become an essential part of our daily lives. I thought this Domino Theory blog post had an interesting way to think about the topic: “Marketing in a digital world isn’t about the tools YOU use, it’s about the tools your customers use.”

Marketing using interactive tactics requires unique expertise and a different way of thinking. The key difference is the loss of control that marketers have of the marketing message. With social media, consumers now also have a large platform to express their views of a product and company. The marketing monologue has turned into a conversation.

Many of today’s tactics are those of traditional marketing and communications (differentiating your product, telling a compelling story), but the digital medium does make it different by allowing that customer feedback.

What do you think about this? Is digital marketing different than marketing in a digital world?

(Image courtesy of David Bleasdale on Flickr.)

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

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