Panel: Applying digital marketing tools means rethinking verticals altogether

Summary:Digital marketing isn't just about mobile advertising or rolling out an app. It's about rethinking marketing from the ground-up.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- If there's one lesson to be learned before proceeding with any digital marketing strategy, it's probably that you can't just take old marketing strategies and assume they will work for any device.

In all likelihood, they won't.

Based on the comments from a handful of marketing executives during a panel at the Adobe Summit on Tuesday afternoon, the general idea is you have to start from scratch.

Initially, that might sounds frustrating, which is why plenty of C-level executives are probably reluctant (if not entirely against) embracing digital marketing techniques, much like they have been in the face of BYOD and the consumerization of IT.

Leading the way for the digital marketing revolution is arguably retail.

"The sale is what drives the activity," Cooperstein said. "The innovation is not just coming from doing things the old way in a digital context but what digital does to recreate the business you're in."

David Cooperstein, vice president and practice leader for covering marketing leadership at Forrester Research, argued that direct consumer businesses have embraced digital marketing more enthusiastically compared to the B2B sector.

He explained that B2B customers know that digital is important, but they don't look at digital marketing as just putting an ad online, but rather reinforcing what a salesperson is bringing to the table, such as using iPads during demonstrations.

Joe Megibow, senior vice president and general manager of omni-channel and e-commerce at American Eagle Outfitters, asserted that the clothing retailer is "very data-driven operationally, in general" for everything from design to manufacturing.

But he admitted that the challenge for retail is understanding that consumers have a very different outlook on how they interact with brands.

According to Megibow, consumers basically see online shopping and brick-and-mortars as the same company, same brand. He suggested businesses still fret that these two channels are conflicting.

Throw mobile into the mix and it gets more complicated for the business to discern what the customer is thinking and doing.

"Ultimately I shouldn't care if they buy online or in the store," Megibow said.

Topics: CXO, Data Management, E-Commerce, Mobility, Social Enterprise

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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