All media is digital. All media is social.

By Jackie Coffey, Associate Digital Director

Yes, that’s right, all media is social. You can add that hashtag to just about anything. Does that make it social? Technically, yes. Realistically, eh – no.

But what about all media being digital? That’s a bit harder to swallow in this TV-centric age, but are we moving in the right direction? HELL YES. And may I add FINALLY.

At the Ad Age Digital conference last week, themes stretched from…

1. Leading a purpose-driven work environment (GSD&M was built on purpose; it is engraved on our floor, literally).

2. Embracing the story that data is telling. Listen to it, use it, and change the status quo. But remember that behind data there is a consumer.

3. Brands need to start adding value to consumers, not interrupt their experiences. Starting with content and understanding the user experience.

And last but not least: Stop planning, Start adjusting.

This takes us back to the notion that all media is digital. As marketers we need to understand what consumers are thinking, how they are behaving and what they will do next. Our job is to predict the “next big thing” and help put our clients ahead of the curve. To do this we need to stop battling for the user’s attention and start providing them with something that they actually need, want and are looking for. We should also re-address the value of “traditional” media spots, banners, and ad placements.

Technology is a game changer, data is driving insights, we are able to adjust on the fly, and consumers are adapting alongside. Soon we will be able to access any and all content, by simply asking, or searching or saying the program title. The channel number and name of site or network will soon be irrelevant. So what does this mean for marketers? Options need to be included in upfront plans and we need to focus on how the user is accessing content. We must be able to adjust and optimize on a real-time basis and develop content strategies based on what story that data is telling. The technology is there, so let’s use it.

So what is the prediction coming out of the Ad Age Digital Conference, well, this is it: consumers will drive how content is provided. And it starts with digital and gets better with data.

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