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Digital revolution overshadows marketing’s core principals, roundtable warns

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More businesses are concentrating on digital marketing at the expense of marketing’s core principals, according to an industry roundtable in Manchester this week organized by UKFast. A clear endorsement of a multi-channel strategy, at least for marketing, that encompasses online, mobile and ‘old media’ if ever there was one.

With its transparent nature enticing businesses away from using a healthier mix of traditional and digital marketing, engaging and understanding your customers, marketplace and competition have never been more significant, warned panelists from Blueleaf Digital, UKFast, Marketing Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

“From an educational point of view, the foundational marketing principals should apply to all channels, digital or not. As digital marketing shortens the communication path between you and your audience it enables you to engage with the consumer,” Rob Smith, digital director at Blueleaf Digital, said.

Paul Harris, marketing director of UKFast, added: “People focus on digital because they can see the return in investment, but that can suppress the whole effectiveness of their marketing strategy. Online opportunities should be evaluated using the core principals and incorporated into the marketing mix as and when they are appropriate. In all instances, content has to be relevant and it has to be targeted. Everything else is merely tactics and strategy.”

Digital marketing, in particular social media, has encouraged power to shift back to the consumer and provided a critical public arena where a company’s product, services and actions are fundamentally exposed. While this is great for building a rapport with your audience, this should not only be limited to the digital sphere.

Harris added: “Standards have been raised and marketers need to respond throughout the business. Just bolting on a social media strategy isn’t enough. A holistic approach is required.”

Brendan Keegan, senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, also offers some hope for the future with the latest crop of marketers. He told the panel: “As part of our digital marketing course there is a core unit. In all areas of marketing that we talk about the core is based on these principals. You have to run before you can walk.”

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