Online is DEAD!

11 Aug

I once consulted at the world’s leading digital copywriting agency, where the Editorial Director, informed me, after I’d sent him an email containing 12 exclamation marks, that his team were told whilst at the agency if they only used one exclamation mark in their whole tenure then that may still be one too many.

Well Dan, now is the time to use mine.

Online is dead! (so is offline for that matter)

“This man is a fool,” you are thinking, “online has not only taken off but is flying high if not already stratospheric, perhaps he has been hiding away in Parachinar for the last decade  – eating nothing but grilled blue rock pigeon and roasted Jasmine buds, concealed from every sole on earth with no access to any form of phone, TV or computer.”

So what I am really trying to say?

Well simply that we cannot – and should not – look at ‘Online’ as a separate entity anymore, whether consumers are in store looking to buy the latest 3D television from SONY so they can show off to their friends and then switching their attention to their iPhone 4 to check prices via their Pricerunner app; or if they are tweeting who’s appearing next whilst dancing in the mud at Glastonbury; or participating in a conference about virtual conferences, whilst actually being there and voting on questions from the panel via their Smartphone; or even a consumer redeeming a coupon via that old workhorse SMS, for a competition which they’ve just been handed on a laser cut postcard of the London Eye whilst walking out of Embankment tube station.

The time when the consumer journey could be simply defined into ‘online’ and ‘offline’ slots has finally died.

Agencies have already started to reflect this with the big digital players in the marketplace initially consolidating and now finding happy bedfellows with players in other marketing channels, such as DM, PR and Experiential.

Or perhaps a more pleasant way of looking at it would be like a rebirth in Buddhism this is where the stream of consciousness upon death becomes one of the contributing causes for the arising of a new aggregation. The consciousness in the new person is neither identical to nor entirely different from that in the deceased, but the two form a causal continuum or stream.

OK a little out there, but you get the picture – this new world, which we agencies and marketers are living in, is a great one in which to be brave.

Never again shall we hear the cry of ‘Oh yes, and what are we doing Online’.

T Bird

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