The ‘Digital’ in Digital Marketing

I read an interesting post this morning on the LinkedIn Group, CMO Network about the term ‘digital marketing’.  Does your marketing department include a person or group called ‘Digital Marketing’?  Isn’t all marketing now digital at some point from creation to distribution?  There are many so called Digital Marketing Agencies that dot the landscape on all continents.  Typically, or traditionally, the term means all those things related to the internet: web design, SEM, SEO, email marketing, marketing automation, etc.  The post asked if it was time to retire the term ‘digital marketing’ because all marketing is digital.  I agree, if you are a modern marketer, then you are working in digital world.

Perhaps you disagree and feel we should differentiate.  What would you call the marketing people who design and publish the product brochures using a digital program and ultimately get printed on a digital press?    What about the trade show that is promoted digitally, has digitally produced graphics and may even offer digital videos?  Is a virtual trade show digital marketing or is it event marketing?  I suggest it’s time to move on into the modern marketing era where all marketing is digital.  If I had a free hand to set up a marketing function at a company (let’s keep it B2B since that’s what I know) today, I would break it up to inbound and outbound.


  • Web site management
  • Content management
  • SEM
  • SEO
  • Technology and Platform management
  • Strategy & Messaging
  • Event management
  • Social media
  • Advertising (all outbound messaging)
  • Collateral management
It would be interesting to hear if anyone uses this type of marketing department structure and how well it works or not.  But, isn’t is so that everyone of us Modern Marketers must be competent with all digital tools, channels, processes and marketing automation?  I suggest the answer is a hearty YES!

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