Are You Embracing Digitization?

We talk about digital marketing as the channel through which marketing is deployed, but that’s what it meant a decade ago. Today, at many top brands and marketing agencies, digital marketing isn’t just what they do, it’s what they are.

Every now and then you see these studies about who is or isn’t a “laggard” in some marketing technology. I always found the term a bit manipulative — after all, one man’s laggard is another’s smart shopper — but when it comes to digital transformation, or digitization, I think there’s something to it.

We held a webinar yesterday with Workfront on “3 ‘Digitization’ Trends Shaping Modern Marketing,” where I spoke with Workfront’s Brandon Jensen, Alanna Peet of Accenture and Jennifer Johnson of Informatica. And while they had slightly different viewpoints on digitization, they all said one phrase the same: “You have to embrace it.”

And some of our viewers clearly have not embraced it. So they asked about how to make their organizations more digital … And I have to say, they were a little hard for any of the speakers to answer, because their companies already were fully digital and had been for years.

What exactly does that mean? Well Johnson described how new hires at Informatica start on a Monday, and on that first day they’re given their laptop with all the apps they’re going to use and all the logins and permissions they need. That laptop with those apps contains probably 90 percent of what would have traditionally been in the office for an analog worker.

Now, they still have an office — this is not about working remotely — but the whole marketing job has been digitized.

We talk about digital marketing as the channel through which marketing is deployed, but that’s what it meant a decade ago. Today, at many top brands and marketing agencies, digital marketing isn’t just what they do, it’s what they are.

And it’s not just how the marketing workers interface with the company and their work, it’s how customers interface with those companies as well.

As we talked yesterday, what became clear was, to successfully connect with the connected consumer, it doesn’t just take digital marketing as a tactic or ad channels. It takes embracing the digital world and the tools and everything you can do with them.

Peet’s number one tip, and we came back to it several times, was that through digitization, you can be automating many of the slow, repetitive tasks that burn your time (and burnout your nerves). Data entry, message responses, testing … all of these tasks and more could be automated. This can save you an enormous amount of time and energy that would be better spent on the creative and rewarding (both for you and your employer) aspects of your work.

I admit, I have not embraced digitization as much as I probably could. There are a lot of things in my day to day (and all of Target Marketing’s day to day) that are not automated and probably could be. And that has me thinking as well.

Peet suggested you think about those little annoying tasks and actively identify things you’d like to automate. I bet you can quick make a list of a dozen. If you can automate even half of those, wouldn’t it make a huge difference?

So I ask again, are you embracing digitization? If not, you could be missing out on the marketer’s equivalent of the industrial revolution.

SES N.Y. Buzz: The New Google AdWords Interface

Google has done it again. The biggest buzz at the much smaller and saner Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo 2009, held this week in New York, was the new Google AdWords interface.

The demonstration of the beta version of the interface for Google’s flagship pay-per-click program brought a crowd to the cavernous second floor of the New York Hilton and Towers on March 25, where Google was exhibiting. And most attendees seemed thrilled with it.

Google has done it again. The biggest buzz at the much smaller and saner Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo 2009, held this week in New York, was the new Google AdWords interface.

The demonstration of the beta version of the interface for Google’s flagship pay-per-click program brought a crowd to the cavernous second floor of the New York Hilton and Towers on March 25, where Google was exhibiting. And most attendees seemed thrilled with it.

Here’s the skinny. The new interface allows users to do the following:

  • navigate their accounts more easily via an account tree;
  • make changes with fewer clicks and pages to load thanks to easy in-line editing of keywords, bids, ads and placements;
  • have easier access to their data, including integrated reports that are available on campaign management pages;
  • have access to custom, roll-up views of all of their keyword ads, placements and campaigns in an effort to see their performances at a glance; and
  • have access to performance summary graphs for quick trend-spotting.

Current Google AdWords’ users need not worry, according to Google. Quality score, bidding, budgeting and other aspects of ad serving don’t change with the new interface. Users can sign up for the new interface by entering their AdWords customer IDs here.

Before launching the new interface, Google said it took a close look at how advertisers manage their campaigns with Google AdWords and then looked at where it could make improvements. The new interface is a result of the research.

According to the enthusiastic crowd gathered at SES, Google seems to have done something right.