One of my favorite marketing events of 2008 was the MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer in Scottsdale. Although I was there to lend expertise about a single digital marketing path (email), an entire paradigm of roads clearly became apparent: a perspective of online marketing as much more than the sum of its component parts.
As a practitioner of digital marketing, I couldn't have been happier to see it, more so as we head into 2009 than even just a few short months earlier.
Digital marketing isn't just an ever-growing collection of components anymore (if it ever was). Don't limit your perception of it to adding the latest Web 2.0 gadget to your site or playing in the newest online community. It's not simply about befriending the Johnny-come-lately of the Web 2.0 family, ranging from YouTube to Twitter to podcasts, blogs, MySpace, Facebook and SecondLife. There is no "connect the dots," because digital marketing is geometric, not linear.
What's it all about then? These days, it's about creating fusion.
Successfully generating brand interest, involvement, buzz and new customers involves bridging Web and traditional marketing environments—then melding a fluid, growing constellation of online components together into what is an intentional, ordered chaos that I call "digital convergence."
It's a sort of alchemy—both art and science with a little passion and magic thrown in. It's about creating—or allowing for the creation of—a whole greater and more influential than any of its individual parts, and certainly greater than the simple sum of marketing tactics on a list.
Nonetheless, a thorough understanding of how to not only drive but also maximize the value of components is a prerequisite to recognizing the possibilities for fusing them together.
True, there's no substitute for basic training, so get that training (hint: you're already in the right place!)
Karen Talavera heads Synchronicity Marketing and writes about how to successfully use email, social, and content marketing on the Enlightened Emarketing blog. You can also follow Karen on Twitter (@SyncMarketing) and Facebook for daily tips and links to emerging email and social media marketing trends, facts, and research.