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Welcome to the post digital age

Yes, post digital is a little disconcerting. The fact that most marketers and businesses are still getting to grips with the ever changing digital age, makes the headline above somewhat confusing.

Are we supposed to stop trying to figure out if, and how, to use online community opportunities, mobile marketing, various forms of net and web development, dialogue based content and everything else that digital gives us access to?

Does this mean that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Digg etc. are a waste of time as marketing and brand development channels?

The answer to all the above is an emphatic NO. Digital is here to stay but not stay still. The technology will continue to develop, becoming more sophisticated and accessible in the process. And this pace of change will continue to be very, very fast indeed. In fact businesses and organisations that fail to capitalise on these opportunities will rapidly fail to communicate effectively at all. They will self marginalise and be marginalised by others.

So what does post digital mean then? Well, it’s a paradox. The more digital becomes ingrained in the minds of people, the more seamless and integrated its place in everyone’s daily lives gets, the less distinct digital becomes as an initiative or strategy in it’s own right.

Post digital means that businesses and organisations need to stop thinking about digital per se and get back to concentrating on who and what they are and what, therefore, they are really trying to convey to all their audiences and stakeholders. From this, they can successfully define communication strategies that utilise all channel opportunities in the most effective way, accepting that digital in all its forms is just another essential part of the mix.

If digital is an integrated part of life, shouldn’t it be an integrated part of strategic thinking too?

Back in the dark ages, how many businesses based their need to have a website on the fact that everyone else had one, rather than defining that web was a really effective way of telling their stories and then using it to best effect? The answer to this is clear when you look at the vast array of pointless and miss-used websites that still exist.

Now imagine the same problem but amplified by the hundreds of diverse digital channels available to brands now and in the very near future. The potential mess, waste of money and lost opportunity really doesn’t bear thinking about, so make sure that you are not part of the problem and indistinct noise by making communication strategy and integrated marketing your post digital priority.

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