Radical Digital Transformation

As one platform unfolds into another, advertisers find new flight patterns everywhere

Trying to predict the growth cycle of any one digital platform has gotten more difficult every day. As we pulled together our report for omma Global Fall 2012, we couldn’t help but laugh, again, at the number of times the industry got it all wrong. Display isn’t dead; it’s actually growing. Ditto direct response. Video, once seen as a low-budget refuge for second-rate campaigns, now drives mobile and social, and has challenged the way the industry thinks of advertising versus content. Social, too, has kicked off its training wheels, with its unique ability to drive (or drive away) sales. And mobile? It’s emerged as the star other platforms want to orbit.

“What was supposed to take 10 years took three,” reports L2’s latest Digital iq Index. “Everyone, including Facebook, has been caught flat-footed by the adoption rate of smartphones, which has reached 165 million users in the u.s. alone. M-commerce is now the fastest growing retail channel in history, and mobile devices are likely influencing more on- and offline purchases than traditional broadcast, let alone an in-store salesperson. E-commerce is now m-commerce. Social media is now consumed via mobile app. Digital marketing is now centered on mobile search and mobile-optimized email.”
The point of all this transformation, of course, isn’t about mastering any one platform. It’s about unifying all platforms, to reach — finally — some level of integration. And that goal of integration is forcing agencies, holding companies, and specialists everywhere to take flight in new forms and directions, whether they have the evolutionary skills or not. At last, digital may be coming together.

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