Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Marketers: Is it time to drop 'digital'?

It might feel like I'm banning every word in your marketing arsenal, but following on from my concerns about 'cyber', I'm wondering if we really need to use the word 'digital' any more.

Wikipedia suggests that 'digital' was first used to describe the fast electric pulses emitted by a device designed to aim and fire anti-aircraft guns in 1942, but generally means 'made of numbers'. So when we're talking about social media, email, websites, or mobile marketing - do we really need to remind ourselves that the media we're using is made of a special code that only computers can read?

I'd argue that digital comms is just comms. Digital marketing is just marketing. Digital content is just content. Digital strategy is just good strategy. We don't say 'digital data' any more, and we stopped saying 'analogue radio' pretty quickly after we realised there weren't any other options. 'Digital radio' will go the same way and become 'radio' again pretty soon.

Which brings me to 'digital agency'. Is that a term we need to keep, or something that should be a given? Do we drop the digital, and let any agencies who don't make things out of numbers call themselves 'analogue'?

Awesome image from the BBC archives. (I used to tape the Bruno Brookes Radio One Chart Show. How analogue is that?)