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Digitalization is transforming the world—including the world of marketing.

As in every other industry, old marketing models are being reimagined for customers who now expect digital purchase options, plentiful reviews, and a personalized online experience. As much as we might complain about the curation of search and social media (and as much as this does come with legit privacy issues), it does have its benefits. Products and services that catch our interest and improve our lives now arrive right at our fingertips.

And savvy digital marketeers are the ones who put them there.

How much do you know about digital marketing? Are you equipped to compete, or are you still educating yourself? Here’s a quick true/false quiz to see where you stand on some of the basics, from big data to customer communication.

What to Do If You’re Old School

With the rapid speed of digitalization, what’s to become of old-school marketing? Well, let’s put it this way: When was the last time you got a fax?

Digital transformation isn’t coming. It’s here. And while that may be scary for those more comfortable with (and trained in) old-school tactics, it’s a necessary evolution for the Technovate era. Companies and marketing specialists who aren’t thinking about harnessing the power of digital marketing will find themselves struggling to keep up, at best.

But that doesn’t mean your career is over if you’re old school!

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The Bright Side of Digital Marketing: Innovation

If you chose marketing as a field, you probably did so because you had some interest in creativity or customer behavior. Both of those elements are alive and well with digital marketing.

Have you thought about how your campaigns might harness virtual or augmented reality?

Are you considering ways to leverage customer wants and needs using big data?

Is your boss pushing you to get a data scientist onboard (when you’re not even sure what a data scientist does)?

Great marketeers have always been the ones who stay ahead of the curve and don’t settle into old routines. Once you get used to them, you’ll find that digital tools can help you reach customers and gain insights in new and fascinating ways. Old-school marketeers don’t have to throw out everything they know.

In fact, if you’ve been around long enough to be old school, it’s probably because you have one very important skill for this (or any) age of disruption: adaptability.

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4 Ways Leaders Can Embrace a Digital Marketing Model for the Future

Digital marketing isn’t a transformation that uniquely affects marketeers. In fact, a key component of future marketing strategies will be integration. No longer will marketing be a compartmentalized activity that only one department or team has to consider. Everyone working in any company will need a foundation of digital customer awareness to compete in the Technovate era.

Individuals can start with research, online courses, and other self-study. But organizations? Change on a companywide scale starts with leadership.

If you’re an executive, manger, or team leader hoping to influence scaled, long-term change, you’ll quickly find you can’t do it alone. Here are a few ways to earn buy-in:

  1. Start by setting an example. Don’t just tell people they have to switch to digital marketing—demonstrate why it’s important. Top-down commands will only get you so far (and will likely produce short-term results as your people wait for you to lose interest).
  2. Try holding some design thinking-style brainstorming sessions. Include departments that haven’t been directly involved in marketing before—remember, systemic marketing is about integration, not compartmentalization.
  3. Help educate your people. Old dogs can totally learn new tricks, but not without a little help. Set up training sessions and information seminars for various levels, from digital marketing newbies to semi-pros (if you have them). Reward go-getters by letting them attend conferences to learn the latest in digital marketing. They’ll bring their takeaways back home. With any luck, their enthusiasm (and your support of it) will be contagious.
  4. Ask your people what it would take to get them onboard. They know better than you what hurdles they face. Help them overcome whatever’s in their way, and they’ll be grateful for it.

Digital marketing offers so much. Don’t let your company get left behind in the virtual dust!

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