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Marketing in the Digital Age

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Western Michigan University: Fetzer Center

2350 Business Court

Kalamazoo, MI 49008

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In the era of social media and digital campaigns, marketing is still about people and their networks.

Digital and social media marketing campaigns are often centered on the tactical delivery of the brand content, but often lack the more important objective of what is being said and how – not to mention whether or not the message taps into what people really care about.

With all the technology, it is easy to forget that marketing–even in the digital era–is foremost about understanding people and their social networks. Michigan Ross Lecturer Marcus Collins wants to elevate the importance of decoding human networks in the development of digital campaigns.

The goal is to get practitioners to focus less on “how” a campaign is delivered, or the delivery tools, and more about “who” they are trying to reach and the environment where they live.

“Marketers still tend to think about people based on demographics, but that approach doesn’t help us understand people and their networks,” says Collins, lecturer of marketing and senior vice president and director of social engagement at Southfield, Mich.-based advertising agency Doner. “Digital marketing too often focuses on the medium, but technology is only an extension of what people already do. We want marketers to understand the social networks of people–the shared beliefs, norms, and unwritten rules. Their networks are the community in which they live. Only by understanding their community can you leverage technology to the fullest and influence those social ties.”

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Western Michigan University: Fetzer Center

2350 Business Court

Kalamazoo, MI 49008

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