Jeffrey Dachis co-founded Razorfish back in the 1990s with a simple philosophy; “Everything that can be digital will be.” More than 20 years down the line, we asked Dachis how true this statement stands now.
“It has taken a long time to get here but everyone will acknowledge that we are moving into a digitally focussed media, entertainment, marketing and commerce environment where everything we now do happens through our mobile or some form of digital interaction. I am proud to say that we have arrived at a place where everything that can be digital is digital. There are still a few areas of transformation yet to occur but for the most part we are here now,” he says.
However, he also agrees that there are different perspectives in the way people have adopted digital. Taking the case of marketing and advertising, he says, “Advertising has always been about buying a spot in someone else’s media to build awareness about something which then someone else takes and uses the awareness when they are in a store next time. The power of digital is that I don’t need to go to the store to buy; I am transacting from the media I am consuming. The idea that advertising sits on top of media and hence is separate from commerce is now combined. I am now consuming the media, receiving the message and transacting in the same mode; I also might be doing it from the same app.” He calls this the “virtuous closed loop” of digital advertising.
But, digital advertising has still not taken advantage of this unique asset, says Dachis, who feels that the medium still follows the old method of buying media on top of someone else’s message. He says that the brands of the future will be built on authentic, advocacy-based marketing, which is then amplified through owned and paid marketing. As opposed to the current situation, earned media will drive paid and owned media, he told us.
“This process and way of thinking is so inefficient, costly and untargeted. We haven’t yet brought the possibility (of virtuous closed loop) to live because we are still caught in the old way of advertising. The opportunity for the Indian market is to move beyond the ad and into commerce utility,” he says.
Jeffery Dachis is one of the keynote speakers at exchange4media’s inaugural conference on the digital advertising and marketing; TechManch, which will be held on June 16, 2017 in Mumbai.