The future is DIGITAL


ADVERTISING EVOLUTION & OPPORTUNITIES Continuation of the Previous Issue...

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Although the advertising industry has changed dramatically, most college programs in marketing continue to offer a classical marketing curriculum. Many have simply added an additional elective or two on digital or interactive marketing and on international marketing instead of redesigning the requirements and courses necessary to obtain a marketing degree. In many college programs for marketing majors, the focus is often on the manufacturing business with some emphasis on global markets instead of on the advancement of marketing in the Internet and technology spectrum.

Marketing courses typically offered at colleges, for example, currently include the following:

Principles of Marketing
Consumer Behavior
Marketing Research
Business Marketing
Personal Selling
Marketing Management and Strategy
International Marketing

This is usually supplemented by a subject on Advertising and marketing, online marketing, e commerce and social networks. All this needs to change and change quickly because…

In today’s world of online advertising, “techies” and computer gurus are leading the way, not classically trained marketers. Just as digital technology decimated the newspaper industry and radically changed the business model for the music, book, television, and film industries, the assembly line of the ad production process has been obliterated.

Managing advertising in the realm of the Internet requires a new set of skills. Strategic thinking and a grasp of the creative side have always been important in advertising, but now an understanding of the complex, technology-related issues has added a new element to the skill set mix. Technical knowledge is an essential requirement in building e-commerce models.

Companies are expecting individuals with marketing degrees and experience to also have the technical skills. Students at technical schools are taught computer skills, whereas those receiving a university marketing education are taught theories and processes of advertising and marketing. Courses combining both these are not offered in traditional marketing degree plans. In the past, those educated at technical schools were hired to fill the techie positions in the advertising and marketing fields, while classically-trained marketers would rise to leadership positions that included overseeing a technical staff. In the fast-paced digital world of the 21st century, technically-educated students with marketing knowhow are slowly ascending the ranks, and experienced marketers are rapidly becoming dinosaurs.

The need for technical expertise is sending ripples of change throughout the advertising industry. People who were not initially attracted to advertising, such as MBAs and computer science majors, are entering the field. Some of the larger agencies have initiated training and management development programs to recruit talented young people who might otherwise be tempted to enter another field requiring their technical expertise.

Agencies are also bringing in people from the outside to lead digitally. For example, the Creative Director, a senior level position in an ad agency’s organizational structure, used to be the person with the most experience and creativeness. Today,this person is more likely to be the one with the most technical skills, the least advertising experience, and an average sense of creativity. Even the physical office space of the new-age advertising agencies is being rearranged: no longer are people isolated in offices and by long hallways where different disciplines never cross paths. In the new digital agencies, socialmedia people, creative’s, media planners, technologists, and user-experienced individuals are seated next to one another at modular desks. One progressive-thinking CCO (Chief Creative Officer) went so far as to change his title to that of Chief Social-Media officer!

Overall, both the advertising industry and the educational system have utilized a functional view of marketing’s processes and procedures and have operated or taught accordingly. Perhaps because of a combination of disintermediation by the Internet, economic considerations, and corporate blindness, many have not identified the emerging trend of integration of all disciplines in the marketing process. For example, traditional advertising media include print, radio, and television. Marketing educators continue to teach the advantages/disadvantages, appropriateness, and the most effective strategies for the use of each platform. Traditional advertising agencies have separate print and broadcast (radio and television) divisions, and to these companies, an “integrated marketing plan” often means simply using both divisions. In line with a functional view, the Internet and online advertising now constitute the fourth media channel or platform.


Today, the realm of digital has changed the entire landscape of advertising. An online digital platform is not just another advertising channel to be added to the traditional three (print, radio, and television). It is a “mashup,” a blending of all channels that requires a heavy emphasis on technical skills and that should be taught as such. This mashup of channels and the evolution of computer technology have made those individuals who can maneuver quickly to produce ads and campaigns the most valuable players. Real time response is the future of marketing. Those who use blended media and the latest technological tools to produce the fastest and easiest to view/read/or listen to communications will lead the industry.

Consumers today have a complex relationship with media, and the new challenge is how and where to engage with them.

The future is Digital, the platform is available, a wide range of career opportunities await you.


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Author:  buddingmanagers
Posted On:  Monday, 7 July, 2014 - 10:36

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