“Specialisms can drive you down silos,” warned John Watton, marketing director EMEA at Adobe at last week’s Digital Marketing Symposium in London in a call to the marketing industry. “We need more generalists who can look across the channels.”
Three times as many advertised marketing jobs contain the word digital in the job description than in 2011, according to data presented at the same event, but the term ‘digital’ is much less likely to be in the actual job title now than it was then (read the full story here).
There might at first seem to be a delicious irony in a digital marketing event that suggests digital specialisms are not as valuable as more general marketing roles.
But I agree entirely with Watton; digital is not a channel that sits alone any more. In fact, I am not even sure that calling digital a channel really works. In most real-life cases, it is simply marketing.
You can see the same attitude at our Festival of Marketing event, which takes place on 12-13 November at London’s Tobacco Dock.
When you look through the programme, it is clear to see that transformation is occurring for all the businesses taking part. Ryanair’s chief marketer Kenny Jacobs believes the digital transformation of his business will be so great that he has set up a unit called Ryanair Labs, which seeks to be the best “digital travel team on the planet”.
Meanwhile, another speaker – Laura Wade-Gery of Marks & Spencer – perfectly illustrates how digital is bleeding seamlessly into operations with her own role. Wade-Gery took over the digital transformation brief at M&S, but has since found herself running the physical retail stores too. Digital and physical cannot be kept apart.
This week’s cover story is a perfect example of a brand that personifies how digital and physical work together seamlessly. Unilever’s Marmite won this year’s Brand of the Year award at the Marketing Week Engage Awards, in association with YouGov.
The brand aims to be “relevant”, whether it uses social media, TV or packagingto spread its messages. The jewel in the crown is the brand’s quirky personality. Marketing – in any channel – is what brings it to life.