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Digital is dead

I went to a couple of events this week which were about all things digital. They laboured on about how the digital landscape needs a digital strategy, and that digital marketing is the focus of the digital native. The very word 'digital' is held out as if it is some magic snake oil that was just pulled into town on the back of a covered wagon. The audience sits there, unthinking, open-mouthed and apparently amazed. It's loose talk, it's lazy and it's got to stop.

'Digital' is a dreadfully overused word. Leaders and companies need to focus on strategy, culture, brand and so on, and the fact that they're handled using 'digital' tools and processes is not the point. We don't bang on about 'electric' lights, 'electric' computers or 'electric' toasters. It's no longer relevant and neither is 'digital'. What isn't digital? Not much.

'Digital' has become a proxy for fresh systems thinking, business models and new and better ways of doing things, including some things that weren't even possible only a short time ago. The way we devise organisations' cultures for the benefit of all stakeholders, present brand engagement that is meaningful for customers and employees alike and develop strategy for sustainable long term success is what it's really all about. Let's stop using 'digital' as if it's 'abracadabra' and start thinking about what it is we're trying to do, not the medium we're doing it in.

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