The Digital Nightmare

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‘Software is eating the world’ proclaimed Software Engineer, Marc Andreesan. What an interesting and somewhat frightening thought!

The idea that the digital world is taking over our reality sounds like the plot from a Sci-Fi horror movie! Well it seems that this ‘nightmare’ is becoming a reality.

We now live in a world where the digitalised is more prominent than the physical world in which we actually live. We now feel the need to post status updates of our current locations and ‘instagram’ images, rather than absorb the reality with our own eyes. Jean Baudrillard, Philosopher, predicted such an idea in his work ‘Simulacra and Simulation’. He alluded to the digital world as a ‘Map’ which, once upon a time, mirrored the ‘Territory’, being the real world. However it now appears that the ‘Map’ has surpassed us in the ‘real’ world – ‘it is the map that precedes the territory’. As James Cherkoff, Course Director at CIM, so aptly put it, ‘Rather than digital marketing, we are marketing in a digital world’.

Software giants, Microsoft,  demonstrated this idea perfectly in their recent Xbox ad. Breaking Bad Actor, Aaron Paul, is seen saying ‘Xbox on’ to verbally instruct his console to turn on. This led to viewers’ own Xboxs switching on – The perfect example of the ‘Map’ preceding, and controlling, elements of the ‘real’.

Google’s idea of the Path-to-Purchase demonstrates the presence of the digital in our everyday lives. It states that initially, there were two ‘Moments of Truth’ which led to the consumer buying a product.

1) Standing in front of the item which they want.
2) Owning the item.

But Google has gone one step further. They have introduced the idea of the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’. This is when, even after physically seeing a product in the real world, we feel the need to browse the digital world for its opinion of our desired product.

It appears that we are now living in a digitalised matrix where, if you have no digital presence, you may soon be forgotten. 

What a scary thought.

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I am a User – Show me your goods!

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Marketing Week Live 2014 certainly opened my eyes to a lot of innovative and exciting ideas which are being utilised and developed in the Marketing Industry – particularly in Digital Marketing. The most valuable knowledge I picked up from the event was the sheer importance of Digital Marketing. Although it is problematic to claim that ‘gone are the days of traditional Marketing’, it was clear from the stands and talks at the exhibition, that Digital Marketing is the market to market. Companies who do not jump on the digital band-wagon are being left behind! Bastien Schupp, VP of Marketing at Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, gave an interesting insight into Marketing in the Automotive Industry. He spoke about how despite the high quality vehicles which some car companies were manufacturing, they failed to thrive as their Marketing strategies were not as innovative as their industry. James Cherkoff, Course Director at CIM, highlighted the importance of the ‘User Experience’. As a result of our progressive world, the user experience is ever-changing. It is the role for Marketing folk to ensure that they adapt their content to keep up with its stride, whilst ensuring that the user continues to get the best experience – both on and offline.

It is as simple as this.

It is the role of a Company to ensure that the transition from traditional to content Marketing is seamless. The user’s needs have not changed, however the means to those needs have. Companies need to demonstrate that they are able to provide users with both a reliable and innovative experience.

Now that is ‘Content’ Marketing (Mind the pun).

The experience of inexperience – it’s a ‘chicken and egg’ situation

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When the majority of us leave university, we have a hopeful (and somewhat naive) belief in our minds that our dream job is going to fall right on our lap – or thereabouts! We’re all aware of the bleak job market but we know we have the skills to tackle whatever is thrown our way. We’ve all experienced the horror of writer’s block a day before a major deadline and complete cluelessness whilst surrounded by mountains of books, with not the foggiest idea of what we’re doing! We believe that these ‘experiences’ should grant us a so-called ‘fast-track’ onto the career-ladder. However, like all those before us, reality soon hits. We realise that, although we’ve had an experience, it may not necessarily be the experience which our potential employers are looking for. Time and time again, we’re bombarded with that same, relentless message: ‘Experience required’. This constant reminder of our inexperience can leave us feeling disheartened as our experience is considered inadequate. This is when I think it’s important to remember the mystery of ‘The chicken and the egg’. Everything starts somewhere. Although we may not be aware of when our inexperience will become an experience, it’s important that we do not neglect the experiences we already have as we have all got to start somewhere…