3What Exactly Are Digital Dynamics?

We've seen that marketing is now a digital profession, and we touched on some of the ways it is affected by digital dynamics. But what exactly are digital dynamics?

Five characteristics of the digital world cause it to behave quite differently than the physical world: speed, adaptability, adjacency, scale, and precision. Digital dynamics are the effects these properties generate, and much of the power of digital comes from these features and what they make possible.

But it's difficult to harness that power through management practices that were designed in a predigital world. It's like trying to fly a plane by reading the driver's manual for a car. Yes, they're both transportation, but you're dealing with a different set of levers and gauges—and some very different physics. Running a digital profession by the rules of nondigital management imposes artificial limits on what we can do and leads to organizational dissonance.

Instead, we want management methods that can leverage digital dynamics, rather than struggle against them.

So let us briefly examine each of these five digital characteristics, graphically represented in Figure 3.1, to make sure that we recognize them and appreciate their effects. This will then help us evaluate existing management approaches—as well as new ones, designed for this new environment—with digital dynamics in mind.

Figure 3.1 Five Digital Dynamics: Speed, Adaptability, Adjacency, Scale, and Precision

Speed ...

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