Lately and you can bare me witness, digital marketing in its many forms and shapes is more and more becoming the focal point by those in the know. Print media and traditional advertisement avenues are slowly dying and its victims are trying to remain relevant hence their rebirths in digital form online. The only way to do that is to embrace the killer of their now “used to be” jobs – social media/new media. And I don’t just mean publishers and journalists but also the men and women at advertising agencies who have for too long only understood Radio, TV, and Print Media. Digital Media in reference to TV and Radio today is almost archaic. We are a generation of Podcasts, YouTube, Vimeo, Blogs, Social Networks,
But the dawning reality on ad agencies is damning and hence the rush to the goldmine that many expect digital advertisement to be in a few years time. This awakening is seeing many start-ups, traditional advertising companies, and a couple of smart PR Firms tuning in to the right digital frequency. They now realize that the Fibre Optic impact extends far beyond the cliché pitching statements made by ISPs to the core fabric of the country, influencing everything especially where and how we access information. It has also been responsible for shifting our core influencers from TV and Radio to online personalities with digital currency like @bankelele and @whiteafrican etc.
This new reality has caught many especially the old guard off-guard and they are running around demonizing new media/social media on the major dailies; failing to understand that we now have new influencers and that they are digital. This generation refuses to acknowledge the power of digital media simply because they do not understand it. It is new, it does not sit still as it is ever changing, it is a case study in motion whose gestation period is not decades or years like many theories but months. Basically, they want it to sit still long enough for them to study it and write doctorate papers on it and present concise action plans yet due to its nature they cannot keep up with it. It is almost amorphous and their structured ways hate it. So they loudly preach its death while privately fearing for their own.
The smarter ones among them have taken cue and are quitting their old media jobs to start new media jobs and companies – pun intended. The result has been the launch or impending launches of start-ups solely focusing on one aspect or another of digital marketing. The bigger firms that have not only acknowledged the importance of going digital but also that they cannot keep up with its many facets are buying up or partnering with digital ad outfits that understand this un-chartered territory better than them just so they do not get left behind. Clearly, the younger generation of Kenyans has the upper hand in this arena and I see a descent number of millionaires emerging from this digital revolution.
And I dare say that this is it. This is the changeover and the transition is well on its way. Just because the research on the influence of social media in Kenya today has not been sanctioned should not in any way mislead you into joining the chorus of the old guard who claim it is a fad? So get with program as a business and make sure that your next advertising contract comes to me and the rest of digital marketers out who understand the new landscape that is digital marketing. As far as PR goes, ensure that the PR Firm you hire is proficient when it comes to digital PR by inquiring on how they would response in the case of an online onslaught.