Marketing in the Digital Age Explained for Your Mom and Dad

Modern jobs and professions are very different from what they were thirty or forty years ago. Without a doubt, there are many millennials who have had the awkward conversation with their parents where they have tried to explain to their folks, in terms that make sense them, what exactly it is that they do for a living. The older generation understands things like doctors and lawyers and engineers. Those are things that make sense in their world. But with the rise of new technologies and digital media, there are so many roles and careers that simply mean nothing to them – largely because we they did not exist as career options when these people were finishing school and entering the career ladder, thirty or forty years ago. So, to help unpack exactly what happens in the world of marketing in the digital era, here are some things to explain to your mom and dad.

It is about how you talk to your audience

While in many ways the world of digital marketing is very similar to the old-school marketing your digital marketing agency folks will understand, the big difference is that in digital you are building communities and you are interacting with them. Because everything online can be tracked and measured it is a whole lot easier to determine what the return on investment is for a client. Where thirty years ago it was about spending money to create brand awareness, it is now about finding ways to interact with a brand. In a sense marketing digitally is a blend of old-school marketing and activations.

Social media

Old people think social media is for sharing their holiday pictures with old school friends and family who are living abroad. And it can be. But it is also so much more, and it is very powerful. The power and influence of social media are extraordinary, and it has got to a place where influencers are paid huge amounts of money to say things on platforms like Twitter. Because of this power and the ability to reach huge communities very simply; particularly if you are able to create viral content, social media experts and planners have become an important component of the digital landscape.


Thirty years ago, it was only thick-spectacled, unwashed types who were into computers and coding. But that has changed hugely, and coding is now regarded as a career that will be most in demand for years to come. Coders will write code in different languages and the more languages in which a coder is proficient, the more easily employed they will be. These languages are like a smorgasbord of acronyms and obscure words, guaranteed to scare parents or at the very least to leave them staring at you with blank looks on their faces.


At any agency, there is a person or people who are responsible for what is called traffic management. This is a bit like a policeman who directs traffic only this is done digitally and the traffic that is being directed is work. The person responsible for traffic is the interface between all the different departments within the agency. They liaise between sales and client services and design and project management. Done well they are the people who have the ability to make the biggest difference to the effective running of an agency.

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