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Reinvention In Digital Marketing Is Also Part State Of Mind

Welcome to the Friday Commentary. In this series every Friday experts will shine a light on the digital industry. Where are we heading, what is going on and how should we approach this as decision makers? This Friday we will be listening to Andy Betts, a well traveled and well known online strategists who shares what he’s learned by talking to the big brands.


I have been fortunate this year to attend both of the amazing Adobe Marketing Summits this year in both Salt Lake City USA and London EMEA. The over-arching theme for both summits focused on the ‘Reinvention’ of Marketing. The growth of the digital and technological landscape and the fusion of search, social and content marketing has indeed been the hot catalyst of change. However does change in markets and technology mean that marketers are ready to change, are prepared to change and, most importantly, have the skills to change?

Technology as an enabler

A few weeks ago, Laurent Boninfante, wrote a great piece that serves as a précis to my article. The technology landscape is a fast growing, fragmented and complicated beast. Technology is a both creator and enabler of change but just how do marketers keep pace, how do employers find talent that can operate across multiple functions, how do marketers prepare and develop skills sets to compete in modern, converged media, markets?

Integration has become the future of marketing management and many brands and marketers are taking advantage of this through cloud-based tools – like the tools available through Adobe – and through the integration of search, social and content marketing technology platforms (enablers).

The adoption and development of technology is outpacing the development of digital talent


Marketing now requires an agile set of technical skill sets that span across digital, technological and social disciplines. Many leading organizations that operate in ‘converged’ digital, marketing, content and technological environments are moving away from the traditional hierarchical and functional ways of working. However, learning about how to use a new piece of technology is simply not enough.

People as the enabler

In today’s complex and overlapping digital marketplace it is time to show more knowledge outside of you own field of expertise. For some this change has started but for some it is very much a state of mind and the key to developing skills in thinking a little differently. As marketers we spend lots of time talking about user behavior, buying personas, and the psychology of marketing.  It’s now time to ‘practice what you preach’ and understand how the two different hemispheres of the brain are responsible for different ways of thinking.


Are you a left-brain marketer who tends to be analytical in approach or a right-brained marketer who is more open to conceptual thinking? Hybrid and agile marketers are people who sit in the middle and can adapt and balance left and right brain thinking. They understand technology’s role as and enabler but also know how to adapt, change and learn new technical and interpersonal skills to stay ahead in the talent game.

State of Mind Thinking like a Hybrid Marketer

To stay ahead in digital agile and hybrid marketers are now leading matrix structured campaigns with multiple reporting lines and managers are helping them work across and influence multiple teams and multiple functions. Agile marketers are not only technologically proficient; they are highly skilled communicators, analysts and writers with strong competencies in business, IT and human behavior. Whilst technology is the enabler of growth people, process and communication are the enablers of growth and adoption.



Image source


It seems clear that (digital) marketing is changing constantly and anyone in a decision making role in marketing therefor needs to change with it. It has to be a state of mind which allows you to change and at the same time hold on to the core values. It’s not an easy task, but a challenge you need to accept.

How’s your challenge going?

Know about what is changing in marketing!

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Andy Betts has worked in search marketing from its conception in the UK. In the past 12 years Andy has worked for, and with, many of the world’s largest agencies and brands helping formulate marketing, business, and search strategies.
  • As usual; a great article Andy! I think the role of the digital marketer has changed hugely over the years. The trend I’ve seen is a much greater emphasis back on channel expertise and away from project management. The challenge there is that the skills needed for channel expertise are increasingly diverse and sometimes even contradictory.

    • Andy Betts

      Thanks Andrew – yep, can be a catch 22 and a role back to specialists generalists debates

  • Andy, as within, as without. Our mindset, or how we choose our thoughts and feelings as marketers, drives us in certain directions, based on our choices. Important point here!

  • Joel Glenn Wright

    Andy, Bravo man! That was a fantastic article and description of the subjective experience of the new Digital marketing professional. I think that you have give a bit more of the voice here to the new up-and-coming generation of online marketer. So my hat’s off to you, great job. I also thought I might mention that within the cognitive thinking style of digital marketing specialists, I’ve notice that there is a higher degree or tendency to transcend simple deductive or inductive thinking and instead there is a higher occurrence of what the Great Gregory Bateson called “abductive thinking” which combines both and can also move laterally cross both:

    Big Picture1 ⇄ Big Picture2 ⇄ etc.

    ⇅ ⇅ ⇅

    Details 1 ⇄ Details 2 ⇄ etc.