Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

2020 Visions: Digital is not exceptional – it is everything

As we head into what is set to be a seminal year for the digital industry, NDA has been talking to leaders across the market to hear their thoughts on what 2020 holds.

The use of the term digital as a descriptor, of channels, of approach, of mediums, even as an industry, has long been argued over. While at NDA we, obviously, still see value in the term and what it stands for, there is no doubt that, with consumers increasing shift to a digital-first mindset and behaviour, in 2020 every business will need to put it at the centre of both its marketing and overall business strategy.

Nicole Yershon, former head of Ogilvy Labs and now a best-selling author and founder of The NY Collective, is working with companies across the globe to help them deliver this vision.

We caught up with her to discover her 2020 Vision.

What has been the most important development of 2019 in the digital industry and your professional highlight of the last decade?

The increasing recognition by clients that mindset change is fundamental in order to rewire the clients operations. Clients have started to accept the total commitment and hard work needed for there to be any meaningful change in the business.

To the second point (since leaving the agency world) – what were previously dealt with as siloed marketing challenges are actually core business challenges. They have to be dealt with across the entire business.

What are you most excited about in digital in 2020?

The unrelenting power and pace of progress. 

Focus has started to move from ‘digital as a thing’ to driving value as the point. Digital is properly recognised and contributing to ethical business and society.

Why should advertisers be excited about digital in 2020?

If advertisers look beyond the traditional they’ll be able to access seriously creative people and teams. 

These new ‘groups’ will deliver true business solutions that are ever more relevant. As a result they will be given permission by audiences as opposed to the blunt-force carpet-bombing that consumers are brainwashed by today.

We are seeing a plethora of new companies entering the space. Other than your own company, who are you most excited about?

I think it’s all still in a state of flux. 

No companies stand out as grasping the nettle of business.

I’m excited that more clients are aware of alternatives to the traditional/hackneyed sources of creativity. The self-serving silos of traditional specialist agencies will die allowing new value to emerge. I see more businesses focussed on strategically-intelligent alternatives to agencies. They are already accessing groups that drive value and ideas across the business. They are bypassing the mediocre product that currently represents the norm.

What is your one Christmas Wish for the digital industry?

Digital, as a label, will become irrelevant. 

Digital marketing is mainstream in business. That doesn’t mean there’s only digital channels. Marketing takes its proper role as an integral part of business and not a siloed bolt on. Digital realises its role at the heart of business. Digital is not exceptional it is everything.

Digital matures from the shiny new toy or necessary evil — and is THE platform that integrates everything (manufacturing, media and marketing and beyond). Digital is the force that allows business to race forward throwing off ever more value and impact to society.


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