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When ‘digital’ becomes commonplace – where do we take the industry?

May 21, 2013

Digital media

The interesting thing about digital convergence for those that have worked professionally to develop and foster it is that it becomes harder and harder to define what you do, when the lines between different parts of the industry are blurred.

For example, what does it really mean these days to say to someone that you work ‘in the digital industry’? A few years ago, this was a coveted thing to claim, but in 2013, being a digital person could mean you know something about how to use a computer, which might make you thoroughly outdated, or it might mean you know something about social media – which would make put you on the same level as 1.1 billion other people. The list goes on.

Similarly, User Experience (UX) practitioners were once a fabled entity that were craftsmen far beyond the skill of any designer – but look up any decent online designer’s LinkedIn profile these days and you’ll inevitably see that they’re also a UX person too (whether you believe it or not).

So with convergence a thing of the past – and not something still to come – it leaves people like myself, who led the original charge into the digital era – to find new ways to continue to guide people, brands, and other organisations (Government and non-government) smartly into the next wave of ubiquitous media consumption.

That becomes tricky – we now see waves of experts in mobile, people who know analytics, people who know responsive design, and whatever else the buzzwords are of the day. The continuous proliferation of expertise in various areas of the digital economy still leave the most important question unanswered:

Where are we headed?

 

I saw some interesting work at Nielsen’s recent Consumer 360 conference which we hosted up in the Blue Mountains recently which took a broad look at the impact of convergence on advertiser brands (particularly retail). One of the key takeaways was something that those of us at the forefront of the industry know all too well:

Australian Consumers are far ahead of Australian organisations when it comes to consumption of digital media devices and platforms.

Ross McDonald, Media Industry lead for Google Australia, pointed out their estimates that only 1 in 3 Australian companies has a mobile-ready website. His advice to advertisers and other organisations with respect to digital? “Do more, and do it faster”

The challenge remains for industry leaders to find ways to nurture and accelerate this development.

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