Digital Marketers are not the answer

Digital Marketing

Here’s the thing. The Consumer paradigm has changed. We no longer digest information in one dimension, at a single point in time. We are increasingly on the go, defined by our lower threshold for how long we will engage with something that does not capture our interest and our need to access what we want, when we want. We use a myriad of devices from smartphones, PCs, tablets and wearable gadgets to stay in touch, entertain ourselves, explore and to get things done.

For consumers, access to this information when we want, as we want is almost liberating. The world is at our fingertips. For marketers and businesses trying to gain market share, it often causes consternation – how do we connect with this audience?

In recent years businesses have solved this consternation by calling in “digital marketers”; those adept at interpreting what the business needs and how to then leverage one or multiple digital platforms which engage the desired audience.

As wonderful as digital marketers have been, paradoxically, for many businesses this is where issues have arisen. For smaller businesses, the owner/managers have struggled to understand the jargon and speed of technology advancements and have felt sidelined by the digital marketer. Whilst in larger organisations as often as not, there has arisen two marketing teams – the digital team and the traditional marketing team. Sure they work together as they need to, but to all not in either team, it is plainly apparent there is a divide between them.

Digital Marketers are part of a solution, they are not the answer

This bold statement is not unfounded, and in fact, is easily explained. The crux of it is this: hiring specialist digital marketers must be a thing of the past. In fact, at no time do you need a digital marketer. Rather, if you wish to be a truly successful business, you must hire a marketing team, and more importantly, a marketing leader (CMO, Marketing Director, Head of Marketing etc) who to their core understands and believes that no marketer worth their salt can call themselves a marketer without having a deep understanding of the principles of both offline and online marketing.

Stopping to look at this objectively for a moment, it can become plainly apparent why. Everything the industry as a whole is speaking about – yes it is somewhat a buzzword, but an accurate one – in response to the way the consumer has moved, is omni-channel. How do we create an immersive marketing experience that is seamless through all channels?

Whilst a “digital marketer” can solve elements of this puzzle, as can a “traditional marketer” to be truly successful, you need your marketing to be led by someone who has experience across both, who inherently understands the role of differing platforms as part of a comprehensive and robust marketing strategy. Sure you may need to hire the services of a digital specialist/implementer for key components of your development, social management (the same way you hire a copywriter for your content) etc, but at the heart of it, your marketing strategy and indeed your team should be cohesive and balanced, not fragmented.

I will leave you with this thought; the owners of the best restaurants in the world are not the ones who just hire the best chefs, but are the ones who hire exceptional Chefs and Sommeliers to work hand in hand with the maître d' to ensure that the experience their customer has is seamless, outstanding and that each and every component has been thought of.  Isn’t this what you want from your marketing and customer experience? 


Hamish Anderson

Founder and Director at Mesh Consulting

Passionate about pushing the envelope, I am driven by the understanding that there is always more than one answer to any problem or question. I am a results focussed senior marketer with a history of improving ROI by successfully aligning offline marketing with online customer acquisition, through innovative strategy supported by mobile, web, SEM, social and content development.

Comments (2)
Steve Osborne

Steve Osborne, director at

I agree Hamish. Re: the "consumer paradigm." People read/watch/consume what interests them. Sometimes, it's an ad. Re: the "digital marketer." All marketing has the same goal. It matters not which tool is used or platform embraced.

Farhad Khurshed

Farhad Khurshed, Founder at Copywriting-Results

True. It pays to remember that "Digital" is just media. The more "legs" you have to support the table, the more stable it will be. As they say, the most dangerous number in marketing is "one". Case in point, Google uses snail mail to promote Adwords. Direct Response marketers use "Shock & Awe" packs, "lumpy mail" and offer based marketing pieces very effectively.