Digital Marketing Means Nothing Without People

February 11, 2015

In North America, we sit at computers all day, text, virtually stalk strangers, communicate without face-to-face conversation, and spend hours-on-end surfing the web or enjoying Netflix marathons. Our wired world is wound up and connected nonstop. It’s no wonder; with minimal effort, we can connect virtually with anyone around the globe in a matter of seconds.

A Connected Place

On an hourly basis you are guaranteed to hear talk of this tweet, that promotional Facebook post, or how fantastic and effective a #hashtag was. In addition to this I am fairly certain that “we got ___ views already!” might be one of the most popular phrases in the office. Jelly is always plugged in to digital metrics and data.

In the second week of my internship, I worked on developing public relations connections for Jelly’s different clients and learned how to write friendly emails to pitch news stories to different press outlets. Much like a journalist, you have to hook your audience in the first few words, explain what you or your client has to offer, and establish a connection in one or two sentences. PR is a fast paced and competitive world but making that human connection is worth it.

Later in the week, I had a chance to assist with the filming of a promo video for Vancouver-born author, Christina Crook. Christina has just released a new book: The Joy of Missing Out – Finding Balance In A Wired World #JOMO. In her book, Christina focuses on her journey of disconnection from digital media; taking an intentional step back from wireless connection and reconnecting with the world right around her.

A Social Experiment

We introduced the #JOMO box, a plexiglass container, placed in the center of a table top at a local coffee shop. A sign on the side of the box provided instruction: “for great conversation–place phones inside.”

It was fascinating to watch people’s reactions. Most loved the idea and stuck their phones inside. But the extent to which people do sit on their phones, even unintentionally was easily proven, even among our crew. The coffee shop owner pointed out that as we were sitting and waiting for the next rush of customers, we were all on our phones staying updated with our clients work, tweeting, posting to Instagram, and connecting wirelessly with a world not in sight.

Granted, Jelly is a Digital Marketing & PR firm and being connected comes with the territory. This being said, the whole idea of disconnecting and focusing on the world right in front of me has caught my attention. Yet, it’s clear Jelly has a different perspective on using digital services—people come first

Going Forward

I’m going to take action on this, albeit slowly, as I continue to gain experience and learn new things here. Perhaps this week, during class or while I walk the route to my next adventure, I will place the #JOMO box front and centre (figuratively of course) and stash my phone away.

You can stay tuned to see what I discover as my journey with Jelly continues.