Many brands and marketers still treat digital as a standalone activity, but by doing so, they're missing out on valuable opportunities to engage and persuade their audiences.

The first video in our new #ForwardThinking series explores why marketers need to take a more integrated approach to digital, and weave it into every aspect of their marketing mix. 

You can watch the full video below, but scroll down to find the full transcript and a link to download the slides to use in your own content too.

Hello hello, and welcome to this #ForwardThinking quick insight video.

In today’s episode, we’re looking at one of the headline data points from the Q3 Global Digital Statshot that I published a few days ago, together with We Are Social and Hootsuite.

Global Digital in Q3 2017

As you can see, there’s a variety of impressive numbers on this slide, and I’ll be covering a few more of those in future videos, but today I just want to focus on one, single data point: the fact that more than half of the world’s population now uses the internet.

Now, it’s important to stress that connectivity isn’t quite evenly distributed around the world yet;

As you can see on this chart, almost 9 out of every 10 people in North America are already using the internet, but barely a third of Africans and South Asians are online today.

Internet Use Around The World in 2017

Having said that, though – thanks to that 51% global average – we’re already in the situation where  most people around the world already use the internet on a regular basis.

Digital’s relentless advance isn’t just about the number of users, though.

People are integrating connectivity into most of their everyday activities, to the extent that there’s almost no part of our day-to-day world that remains untouched by digital.

If you look at the most popular app downloads around the world today – this data is from AppAnnie – you’ll notice that the categories cover all sorts of activities, from the obvious things like communication and social media, to gaming, travel, and shopping:

Top Mobile App Download Categories in 2017

But when you realise that people all over the world are using smartphones for critical activities like education, or managing their finances, or even tracking their health, it’s easy to understand why smartphones have quickly become our most important devices.

But what’s strange is that – despite the fact that most marketers also use their own smartphones for these same activities – most brands still approach digital marketing as a standalone activity.

And this makes no sense!

As we’ve just seen, our audiences are already integrating digital into every aspect of their lives, and no ‘normal’ person thinks of their lives in terms of “online” vs. “offline” – to them, it’s just life.

So it’s time for marketers to align our thinking to that audience reality too.

We need to think of digital in a similar way to how we think about electricity – it’s a way of powering and augmenting all of our activities, and not just some box that we need to tick off on a media checklist.

Digital Connectivity is like Electricity

Critically, we need to stop thinking and talking in terms of ‘new media’ too; for our audiences, digital is already the new normal.

So, the key question for today is: how can you move beyond siloed digital planning, and weave digital connectivity into everything that your brand does?

And when I say ‘everything’, I mean activities across the full marketing mix, and even beyond.

So, how might you use digital connectivity to add value to your brand’s core products and services?

How could you harness digital to achieve more efficient and effective delivery?

And even, how can you use social media listening and Google trends data to inspire new products and service ideas?

Integrate Digital Throughout Your Marketing Mix

It’s time we caught up with our audiences.

It’s time for marketing to stop treating digital as a standalone media channel, and start finding ways to integrate connected value into every aspect of our brands’ offerings.

Now, if you’ve got any questions about how to do that, please feel free to share them with me on LinkedIn or Twitter – you’ll find me as ‘eskimon’ on both platforms

And if you’d like to dig a bit deeper into these topics, you’ll find loads more useful resources on too.

But that’s all for today – thanks for joining me, and I look forward to seeing you again on the next episode of #ForwardThinking.