Reflections from AdAge Digital: Stop Marketing Like It’s 1954

citibikeAd Age Digital last week was thought provoking and inspiring in many ways and even better directly related to our work in helping organizations evolve their marketing efforts. Hearing about other companies’ struggles to figure out how to best integrate digital made me realize we’re not alone nor crazy. What I learned can be summed up as follows:

Back to the Future: Marketers need to do more than just advertising. It needs to be broader – like the way your college professor defined marketing. You know, sales, PR, customer service, AND advertising.

Rebalance Skills: The skills needed to be a marketer in this day and age require a balance of art and science – creative, storyteller, technologist, and analytical skills.

Own It: Marketers need to own and be responsible for the entire customer experience.

Market Like It’s 2014 not 1954: We need to market for the age we live in (Thanks Gary Vaynerchuk for that sound bite). Stop interrupting people. Stop yelling at them. Instead ensure your brand is adding value to their lives. Uber car service sells “time” online casino more than anything else. How is your product truly serving your customers?

Shake Things Up: We need to model what marketing for today looks like, but current corporate structures don’t support it. Get rid of silos and build new models to show how to most effectively engage with your customer.

Although the location of AdAge Digital was far from convenient, I loved being able to try emerging services like Uber and CitiBikes. There is nothing like being forced out of your comfort zone to open your mind to new ways of thinking about your business (and transportation!) and see firsthand how digital is enabling it all.

Beth Bengtson
Beth, co-founder and principal of Hale Advisors, has more than 15 years of experience in healthcare, digital media, and interactive strategic communications, working on both agency and client sides for Fortune 500 and small clients alike. Her focus has been on helping clients evolve their organizations through a broad understanding of the impact of digital on their lives and thus business practices. Beyond her client work, Beth has taught college-level marketing and spoken at conferences and for clients on the topics of digital marketing and sustainability communications in the healthcare industry.