2Marketing Is a Digital Profession

The central idea of this book—that marketers can benefit by adopting management practices that were forged in the natively digital profession of software development—rests on the premise that marketing has become a digital profession itself.

You may have raised an eyebrow at that assertion. Certainly some elements of marketing are undeniably digital: websites, e-mail, online advertising, search engine marketing, and social media. These are the things that we have labeled as digital marketing over the past decade.

But there are still many other facets of marketing that don't appear to be digital in nature. Traditional TV, print, radio, and out-of-home advertising. Trade show events. In-store marketing. Public relations. Brand management. Channel management. Market research. Pricing. How can marketing be considered a digital profession when so many important components of it still operate outside the digital realm?

Marketing in a Digital World

When Clive Sirkin was named the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Kimberly-Clark—the company behind major brands such as Kleenex tissues, Huggies diapers, and Scott paper products—he remarked that it no longer believed in digital marketing but rather marketing in a digital world.1

It was a simple yet profound observation.

In most organizations, digital marketing grew up in a silo, separate from the rest of the marketing department. There were usually two reasons for this. First, most businesses didn't rely ...

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