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Module 2: External Digital


Module 2 asks you to evaluate your organisation’s current use of digital technology and social media for ‘external’ customer engagement, identifying areas for future improvement.

The background to the module is the ‘end of marketing as usual’ due to the emergence of a new generation of empowered, constantly connected customers, in both B2C and B2B markets.

Power Shift: The End of Marketing as Usual

The rapid emergence of a new generation of constantly connected, empowered customers (B2C and B2B), is leading to the ‘end of marketing as usual’. With customers no longer being passive recipients of brand messages, traditional broadcast approaches to sales, marketing, PR and customer service are declining in effectiveness.

The ‘old’ rules of mainstream media are about controlling the message. Because of the digital and social media revolutions, a new approach is required based on the principles of Inbound/Content Marketing and Social Customer Service. Content and engagement NOT broadcasting. Marketing as a two-way conversation with customers.

Delivering online content that adds value to customers, combined with the use of digital technologies to enhance the customer experience at ‘key moments of truth’, have become critical to business growth and competitiveness. In a digital world, the brand becomes the customer experience of the brand; experiences that can be widely shared across divers social channels.

The marketing profession needs to #adaptordie. Is it adapting quick enough? Will marketing become the next digital dinosaur.

Great Content + Other People (the strength of your online network) + Great Customer Experiences - Direct Sales Messages = Business Growth

The short blog post below helps to set the scene for this module.

Is Marketing Becoming Obsolete?

 Digital Gap Analysis: External 

The main objective of Module 2 is to critically evaluate your organisation’s approach to ‘external digital’; your organisation’s current use of digital for sales, marketing and customer experience management, benchmarked against where you should be; identifying the key actions and initiatives required to close the gap.

The benchmark evaluation of the progress your organisation has made in 'External Digital' should cover a broad range of issues including those listed below:

  • Have you mapped the digital customer journey with your organisation?
  • How well are you currently using technology to deliver exceptional customer experiences at ‘Key Moments of Truth’ in the customer relationship?
  • Benchmarked against accepted best practice, what progress has your organisation made in your use of social media, real time customer engagement and social customer service?
  • Has your organisation implemented best practice content marketing and social selling?
  • What progress has been made in delivering actionable insight from social media listening, customer data and predictive analytics?
  • Is your organisation GDPR compliant?

Is your organisation’s approach to marketing becoming obsolete? Are you viewing the world as it is or as you have always known it? Are you operating with out-of-date marketing paradigms? Are you aligning your external use of digital with the changing buying behaviour and growing expectations of constantly connected customers?

Questions 6 to11 of the Interactive Polling Tool will give you a good overview of the wide range of issues to be considered here. You can access these by going to using the code number 337826 to login. Please remember that the version of menti we are using here is for illustrative purposes only. Those formally participating in the programme will be presented with a version customised to the specific needs of each group.

Please do not rush forward and answer any other questions in the Interactive Poll. For the moment, please just focus on Q6 to 11. The other questions can be answered as you work through subsequent modules.

Question 6:

External Digital: To what extent do you disagree/agree with the following statements?

  • Marketing, as we know it, is in danger of becoming obsolete.
  • We are operating with out-of-date marketing paradigms.
  • Our marketing is fully aligned with the changing buying behaviour and growing expectations of constantly connected customers.
  • On the web, we still view customers as passive sheep just waiting to be driven to our web site.
  • We still use the words 'targets' and 'prospects'.
  • The brand has become the customer experience of the brand.
  • We should 'shut up' and listen more.
  • Our marketing education system is not 'fit-for-purpose' in a digital age.

Question 7:

Customer experience management: to what extent do you disagree/agree with the following statements?

  • Our organisation has a well-developed customer experience management strategy.
  • We have developed detailed customer personas.
  • We know who our most valuable and most growable customers are.
  • We apply the principles of customer lifetime value.
  • We have developed a detailed map of the customer journey with our organisation.
  • We are leveraging the full potential of digital technology for delivering exceptional customer experiences at KMOTs (Key Moments of Truth) in the customer journey.

Question 8:

To what extent has your organisation implemented 'best practice' in the following two areas?

  • Inbound/content marketing.
  • Social selling.

Question 9:

To what extent do you disagree/agree with the following?

  • Our organisation is leveraging the full potential of social media.
  • We actively engage, real time, on social channel.
  • We have a well-developed social customer service strategy.

Question 10:


  • We have a well-developed social media listening strategy.
  • We develop actionable insights from social media listening.
  • We rely heavily on data analytics to make informed marketing decisions
  • We have access to modern, visual BI tools for data analysis and insight e.g. Power BI.
  • Our marketing team have strong data analytic skills and competencies
  • Our organisation is GDPR compliant.

Question 11:

What marketing performance metrics does your organisation use?

Module 2: Background Reading  

The links below provide useful background reading for Module 2.

For those wishing a more detailed discussion of the new rules of marketing in a digital world, I would highly recommend two books by David Meerman Scott: The New Rules of Marketing and PR  and The New Rules of Sales and Service

Is Marketing Becoming Obsolete?

Brian Solis is one of the leading authors on digital customer experience. You can find a selection of his recent articles here – Brian Solis

From Call Centres to Digital Care Channels: The Future of Customer Service

Putting Customer Service at the Heart of Next Generation Operating Models

LinkedIn provide a free ebook on Getting Started with Social Selling, including a demo of Linkedin Sales Navigator (free registration required).

Social Customer Service – video demo of Conversocial.

Social Media Analytics – video demo of Social Report video

Sloan Review – The right way to market to millennials

I have also provided below a book chapter entitled 'The End of Marketing as Usual'. Although written in a slightly more academic style, the chapter does cover in some detail many of the issues core to Module 2.

The End of Marketing as Usual.pdf

Please do feel free to leave any comments you may have below. To avoid spam, registration (free) is required to allow comments. This only takes a minute or so. It goes without saying that your information will not be used for any other purpose.

Dr Jim Hamill

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Dr Jim Hamill

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