Should We Even Call it Digital Anymore?

Is your smart phone the first thing you look at in the morning when you wake up? And the last thing before you go to bed? It’s ok, you’re not alone. For most of us, digital technology is an integral part of our daily lives. According to statistics from Pew Research Center, two-thirds of American adults are smart phone owners. Among those ages 18-29 that number is 86 percent.

And, mobile phone usage has extended beyond calls and texts. From seeking out information on health conditions to using mobile banking, our phones have become an essential tool for how we conduct our day-to-day lives. In fact, a growing number of people are even submitting job applications from their phones. If digital is so pervasive in our lives, should we even specify something as a digital promotion?

Because marketing efforts by their very nature need to meet consumers where they are, by default, all promotions (should) incorporate a digital aspect; whether through being mobile/tablet friendly or through social media specific campaigns. For brands, the ultimate goal is to build awareness and engagement with consumers through promotions marketing. That is becoming increasingly difficult as the average adult attention span shrinks. In 2000, average attention spans were 12 seconds of coherent thought. Today, it has shrunk to just 8 seconds.

It’s hard to know whether the prevalence of super quick messaging, such as that delivered via a mobile device, shortened our attention spans or whether the evolution of this technology developed to meet those shorter attention spans. It’s probably a little of both.

For brands, this means that marketing promotions need to be even more targeted and impactful to break through the noise. It also means that developing a brand-activating promotion requires careful consideration of message, channel and timing. Furthermore, there is no way to do a successful promotion of any kind without utilizing digital and online tools. A promotion might still have printed elements, like physical game pieces or point of sale signage, but those pieces are typically driving consumers to an online platform such as a microsite or smart phone app.

With this being the case, why do we continue to specify that it is a digital or online promotion if everyone expects it to be digital friendly anyway?

Does this mean we need to change the conversation IRL?

Let us know your thoughts!