Thoughts on Communication/Marketing in a Digital World

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Today I’m enjoying being at #FutureBook16, the industry conference magazines day Conference for people interested in the future of books. 

Lots of stuff to learn. 

Also quite a few things that are confirming some of my thinking. Innovation is a big word, and it is a word looming over us all a lot of the time. But I don’t think it is a key word. 

I’ve been totally wrong about video in digital marketing – I said in my interview for SPCK where I work now that I didn’t think it was a big deal. I was wrong. 

But I do have something to offer to friends, colleagues, and anyone looking to communicate digitally. One striking thing about this conference so far was the excitement and pragmatism about new toys, but a lack of thinking about the values and humanity. I was struck by @evaapp who talked about digital humans and what that might mean. 

In my job, and in the bits of my own time that I do things that look a bit like my job, I have three things/values that I’m trying to work on. 


Everything we do digitally needs to be integrated. For us in the contemporary world, digital can’t be divorced from the real world and it can’t be ignored. Everyone involved gets a voice – and we can share resources and ideas freely thanks to digital technology. But digital isn’t the future, it isn’t reality, and it isn’t ultimately going to solve every problem. So we need to integrate it into other things rather than shifting our focus entirely to it. 


One of my favourite bible verses, which I often entirely forget to action, is Colossians 3:17. Whether you are a Christian or not, I wonder what integrity means to you. For communications and marketing I wonder whether we need to be mindful of integrity. Between internal and external comms. Private and public. Between our articulation of the reality, and the reality of the product. With practice and policy and with the law. Integrity is fundamental. 


At work, we sometimes talk about placebo marketing. Doing things because we’ve been asked to, whether or not it is worthwhile. And its the same in our personal lives. I dislike the word intentionality – but having a plan, following up after a campaign/event, having clear goals which are then debriefed and reflected on, and holding to standards – are good things. 

In closing

Integration. Integrity. Intentionality. These are three words with distinct overlap but genuine importance for how we communicate. They give me a framework to process things I don’t know about, and things that I need to know about. From there I can communicate. 
In a massive tangent/digression, I wonder whether there is a hint of a trintiarian shape to a communication of values here? I don’t want to force the Trinity into things, but I think it could be quite interesting to allow Doctrine to infiltrate our worldly concerns. Wouldn’t it make sense for the way we do things to be shaped by the way we understand God?

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