The year ahead (2016) marks the end of the online business and social media.
From now on there will be no such thing as internet marketing, online strategy or digital businesses. From 2016 there’s just marketing, strategy and business.
Any company that thinks there’s an online world and an offline world is in the dark ages. Go to a coffee shop and look around – everyone is on their phone. Yes they are “using the internet” but none of them think of themselves as “being online”. These people are just living their lives.
Amazon is opening physical book stores now. Facebook runs ads in the newspaper and on the TV. Google is selling physical devices. The worlds of online and offline are so entangled that it no longer makes any sense to delineate them.
If I introduced you to a business owner who said “I have a purely offline business – we don’t think about using any software, IT or digital strategy” you’d probably know that they don’t have long left in business. I believe that the same is true for the person that says “I have a purely online business and I don’t think about what’s happening in the physical world.”
Likewise there is no longer a need to discuss social media and traditional media. There was a brief period of a few years where newspapers and TV stations didn’t know how to integrate Facebook, Twitter or Blogs into their strategy; that time is over. Every media channel on the planet understands digital. They are all experts in SEO, social sharing, analytics and content strategy. Every media business on the planet is thinking about serving up content to users wherever they are.
Media is media – it’s a blend of content, social networks, algorithms, targeted ads and multi-channel availability – all of it.
As 2015 comes to an end, it’s time to get rid of the words “online”, “digital”, “social” and “internet” from your business vocab. Rather than thinking about how people are connecting to their devices, start thinking about the all the ways you are connecting with your people.