The Impacts of Digitization on Marketing

Feature image from Flickr Creative Commons, by David McDermott
by Chiu K

My dream was to work in a marketing agency, even before Jon Hamm played the pivotal role of Don Draper. Little did I know, what I learned in university is now known as traditional marketing, and I ended up working in the digital marketing field. The digitization of media happened quite suddenly within the last 15 years, first with the appearance of websites and blogs, followed by social media platforms such as facebook, twitter, Instagram and pinterest. As such, the marketing guidelines and tactics used since the 1930’s suddenly stopped working starting in the 2000’s. So how has the implementing and writing of a media release changed?

History of Marketing Channels
Infographic by Avalaunch Media

Traditional media releases typically had the choice to go through the following channels:

  • Publications (Newspaper, journals, magazines)
  • Radio
  • TV
  • Direct mail
  • In person

This was when people took the time to read their journals or listen to their radio. DVR and Tivo didn’t exist either, so watching commercials was part of the entertainment. Information being broadcasted was just a one way push to the consumers, which makes measuring success rate quite hard. Releases were only focused on the brand, and typically would follow a specific writing format (headline, sub headline, body, quotes, etc.) Most channels would require payment for features too, which can easily add up.

Flickr Creative Commons, by Jeremy Segrott

Fast forward to the 2000’s. In addition to the media channels discussed above, we also have the appearance of the following:

  • Websites and blogs
  • Social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)
  • Email
  • Search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo)

The new channels are virtually free and are available for everyone to post their media releases. However, the constant feed of all these additional channels also creates a lot of noise. Luckily, since everything is digitized, there are ways to track where the releases are being shared and opened. Because there is a need to keep up with all these different channels, the attention span of an average consumer has also gone down. Since the information is now released directly to the end-user, releases need to be shareable through these channel they spend time on. That means they are a lot shorter, and are written in a friendlier, casual tone.

Want to learn more about the history of marketing? Check out the links below for more information!

State of Digital: Traditional VS Digital PR
Zazzle Media: Difference between Digital PR and Traditional PR
Marketing Magazine: Birth of Marketing in 1930s

Chiu Kwok holds a Bachelor of Commerce, with a major in Marketing. She has over 4 years in eCommerce management and is looking to expand her marketing expertise in SEO and growth strategy. As part of the curriculum for her certificate in Digital Content and Community Management, Chiu currently contributes to McGill’s Continuing Studies’ CBUSS 111 blog.


3 thoughts on “The Impacts of Digitization on Marketing

  1. Laetitia Cany

    Hi Chiu, it is straight to the point, efficient and easy to read, I like it. Actually wanted to read more on the topic, I find it gets quite interesting when you write about the charnels making a lot of noise. Well done!


  2. Robyn Clarke

    Hi Chiu,

    Great idea to use the bio at the end. Unfortunately, your link at the top isn’t working : ( I like how you mentioned the lack of attention span as a result of digitization as well. Your post is easy to read and adding extra links for more information is always a great idea (for knowledge and SEO!)


  3. Really enjoyed this post! The historical background definitely helps understand the changes in writing PR documents & being relevant in 2015. Also love the bio at the end – great idea!


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