“Don’t think of digital as a channel — it’s the sum of all touchpoints.” It’s human nature to sort and categorize the world around us. All of these new marketing tools like Facebook and Twitter? They’re just part of “the digital channel.” Nope. They’re actually part of a larger, all-encompassing brand experience. I couldn’t wait to sit down and discuss this further with the author of Digital Branding and Mobile Marketing Daniel Rowles.
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About Daniel Rowles
Daniel Rowles has been working in Digital Marketing for the past 16 years, with extensive experience working internationally both client side and within the agency environment. He is a Course Director for the CIM, a certified Google Squared trainer, and an associate professor at Imperial College and Cranfield School of Management.
Daniel has helped organizations of all types use digital marketing effectively, working with a wide range of businesses, from startups to global clients like the BBC, Sony, Tesco, Vodafone, Mercedes, L’Oreal, and Warner Bros.
He is the voice of the Digital Marketing Podcast, a worldwide top-ten business podcast in iTunes, Managing Director of TargetInternet.com, and award winning author of Mobile Marketing and Digital Branding.
His career has covered both the technical and business aspects of digital marketing, meaning he is able to bridge the gap between the two and make best use of the tools and technology available.
How does teaching impact your work? “I realized that everything I do is teaching.” Rowles explained how the content he develops for university courses end up becoming blog posts, corporate trainings, and more. The secret is learning how to “chunk” out your content.
What about teaching in the classroom vs. the conference room? “The university courses are really a digital marketing overview, while commercial trainings are more of a deep dive.”
Sometimes being a generalist is better. In an era of hyper-targeted marketing, we also put extensive focus on specialized marketing skills. Rowles sees himself as a generalist — and that’s not a bad thing. Today it takes a marketing generalist to see the big picture — from overall brand strategy to digital execution. “Agencies put so much focus on digital transformation and it really takes a unique set of skills.”
WARNING! Marketing has siloed itself. Rowles’ background in computer engineering meant he code websites and develop marketing strategy. Too often we silo marketing, corporate communications, and other key players like IT, with the unintended result of harming the brand and the customer experience. Sadly, these silos can often be traced back to higher ed where we keep marketing, communications, and technology separate.
Branding is the sum total of all touchpoints. That’s exactly why we can’t be as siloed as we are. To create digital brand experiences in line with our customers’ evolving expectations we have to change much more than our marketing. This frequently involves better collaboration with HR and IT.
Don’t forget the big picture. “People get overwhelmed. They need to take a step back.” It’s then that they can see what will really help them stand out — unique brand positioning. Who are you? What do you stand for?
“Do less but do it better.” That’s Rowles’ answer for rising to the content marketing challenge. Everyone is creating so much content! How will it possibly get seen? By being better than the other content out there. Even if it means you’re creating less content.
We also had a great discussion about the podcasting trend of 2015 and why so many are still not adopting a mobile-first mentality.
What brand has made Daniel smile lately? British mobile provider Three and the classic Tipp-Ex Shoot the Bear campaign. Though Rowles identified a more important question than my smile question, “Because I smiled, did I do anything? Does it matter?” Touché.
To learn more about Daniel Rowles and his work, check out TargetInternet.com.
A Few Final Reminders
A big thanks to a mentor of this podcast with a new resource that you should know more about. Jay Baer of Convince and Convert has done it again. In addition to being a digital marketing thought leader, speaker, and best-selling author he’s now created a new online resource indexing all of the great marketing podcasts out there — it’s called Marketing Podcasts and you can find it at MarketingPodcasts.com. If you like marketing and podcasts you need to check this out.
Last but not least …
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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!