The left side of my brain is making a brief appearance to remind us all about how marketing and branding is becoming more and more science. The days of a creative-type‘s dream C-Suite position are gone. Or are they? Is it possible science can make you more creative? I recently read an opinion piece about innovation and brand management in the post-digital world and got to thinking: What the hell are we talking about, anyway?
That’s right, post-digital is still human, still creative and still hard to quantify.
Let’s back up. Social media, marketing, advertising, content creation (all of it!) … the post-digital world … is becoming a science. Post-digital and other terms like post–internet are associated with both creativity and technology, working across old, new, digital and analog mediums. It’s focusing on longer-term brand building and valuing share growth, while still being able to creatively bring a brand from the ground up. We’re in a sea of ever-changing and shifting characters, channels, platforms and disciplines — so just like you should upgrade your phone every two years, you best upgrade your digital transformation too. But is that even how it works?
Digital transformation is becoming an over-played term that sort-of puffs up above your head and hoovers about but no one really knows what it means until it’s explained. I’m going to head on over to my tried and true digital friend and futurist, Brian Solis for a better description: “The definition of digital transformation is the realignment of, or new investment in, technology, business models, and processes to drive new value for customers and employees and more effectively compete in an ever-changing digital economy.”
And before we get all science-y and technical about it, he reels us back in: “One of the most interesting findings across every report is that digital transformation is part technology but also part human.” That’s right, post-digital is still human, still creative and still hard to quantify. I think that’s why we’re all struggling to define, meet and predict our digital future. The main reason for that is because how a brand focuses on the post-digital landscape is different for each brand and industry – and also the same.
While we all agree science and creativity don’t always mix, for a post-digital world, they have to mix. Strategy and timing needs to be perfect because you can’t just schedule it and go these days – you still need to monitor your content, be creative in your engagement and focus on the analytics – or you’re wasting your time. The analytical side tells you to work on your short game to drive the longer-term value (everyone, raise your hands if you agree that’s a pretty good goal!) but it’s harder than it looks.
If you post it, they will (not always) come – especially in 2018. Sure, you can visually see the post (so there’s that) but we need to dive deeper into the science of a post. Before we collectively utter a resounding ewe because we’re right-brained creative-types, I hope you’re starting to see how important this is for savvy marketing. You need to know how to use the data you’ve gathered to make more informed and creative decisions, delivering what your audience loves and meeting their mindset. Do you see what I did there?
Be mindful how fleeting interactions on social media can be and figure out how to capture that engagement to add long-term brand value. Don’t treat your social media platforms as billboards, use them to socialize with potential customers and clients to generate leads or followers. Provide a customer service! Wow, that’s a term we haven’t used interchangeably with digital transformation much. But think about it: nerdy science (data) helps us be more creative and offer better customer service.
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