Digital Transformation is trimming the marketing fat

Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with numerous brand leaders and marketing agency principals on the topics of digital, digital transformation and moreover, digital implementation. Make no mistake: digital is the number one pressing topic for brands and agencies alike as CMO’s worldwide are feeling the pressure to deliver real results.
 
Thematically, these conversations all weave their way around how to implement digital into existing business marketing practice: into strategy, research, design, copy, customer service, production and so on. 
 
Albeit, these are good questions, it’s looking at it backwards.
 
The question isn’t how to weave digital into marketing's existing practice but rather, how to weave the marketing practice into digital?
 
Digital transformation is exactly that, transformation: changing from one thing into another. Industry giants like Dell, Adobe, IBM and Forrester (to name a few) are all pushing this topic and businesses are beginning to shift serious attention into what’s actually required. How do we radically change what we’re doing: our actions, processes, competencies and operating models all because of digital. 
 
Look for a moment at the exact definition of Digital Transformation: “the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society” (Wikipedia)
 
Two key parts to that statement:
 
  1. The change associated with the application 
  2. In all aspects of human society 

The change associated with the application.

 
Can I simply do what I used to do but now with digital? Absolutely not. 
 
In Lankshear and Knobel’s astute work, Digital literacies: concepts, policies and practices, they provide direct guidance to marketers: (read full article)

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