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There’s nothing new in digital marketing

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Published: 19 March 2019

By Senior Lecturer Alan Charlesworth, Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism

Digital Marketing

It’s been a mantra of mine that the Internet has brought nothing new to marketing – only new ways of doing old things. I've been saying it since 1996, and I'm still saying it now. As time passed I thought someone somewhere would come up with something – but no. 

Yes, digital technology has added to how we go about marketing, but added anything new? No.

For example, check out this description that could be ‘YouTube’, ‘content’ and/or what seems the hottest topic of the moment, ‘influencer’ marketing.

Yes, digital technology has added to how we go about marketing, but added anything new? No."

Alan Charlesworth
Senior Lecturer

“The environment has become highly competitive with ads so common that they blend into the background and are ignored by users. One answer is to produce magazine-type content which addresses a subject area in a discursive manor with the presenter suggesting specific products that might solve problems that arise during the ‘discussion’. Such is the perceived celebrity of the presenter that his or her endorsements influence purchase of the featured products”.

Note it does not include the terms ‘digital’ or ‘Internet’… the reason being that it describes 15-20 minute programmes from the early days of commercial television.  

As I said, nothing new…

Alan Charlesworth is a Senior Lecturer and has been involved in what is now referred to as digital marketing as a practitioner, consultant, writer, trainer, and educator since 1996. Alan also writes about and consults on the phenomenon commonly known as the Digital Transformation, a subject that transcends marketing into all aspects of business and management. Read more about his teaching and research interests and studying Business and Management at the University of Sunderland.

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