When asked how he started in marketing, Talib Morgan laughs and says, “Love took me there.” Though at the time, the relationship he had in mind did not involve digital marketing technologies. Nonetheless, he has managed to establish quite the romance career-wise.
Morgan relocated to Boston, Massachusetts from New Jersey to work for a company as a marketing consultant. After a layoff, he decided to work towards building his own company. Wanting to be able to create his own parameters, he created Actuan Global, a marketing technology consulting firm servicing marketers at large organizations.
After releasing his book at the end of last year, Morgan hopes to help marketers create programs that allows them to enhance their customer experiences. Get Digital: A Marketer's Guide to Unleashing the Power of Digital Technology aims to broaden the horizons of traditional marketing, and describes a new era of marketing with the increase usage of digital marketing technologies. Instead of marketers utilizing one source of technology, he emphasizes how various channels of marketing can be used to drive customers into action and measure success.
Throughout his career, Morgan noticed common misconceptions that companies often struggle with while engaging in digital marketing campaigns. “Companies are inundated with buzzwords. They are inundated with the idea that you have to do social. You have to do demand generation. There’s not a real clear understanding amongst marketers who did not come from a marketing background. There’s not a lot of understanding, especially at the middle manager or senior manager level about how to use these technologies,” says Morgan. Get Digital can be used not only for those in marketing roles, but managers and executives at all levels and in various areas of business can benefit from understanding the benefits of digital marketing technology.
The shift in marketing becoming more technical has been happening over the course of generations. While working with General Motors Company (GM) in the late nineties, Morgan was a part of a program that involved using the Internet to get customers to express more interest in their vehicles. The surprise factor for GM was how many people actually used the Internet to express interest in participating in the program. As the nineties are often regarded as the beginning stages of Internet use, it is important to understand how marketing technologies have changed from then to present. Morgan believes that social media plays a big role in getting people to understand the importance of technology. “If you’re not looking at technology then you aren’t looking at social, and you’re missing out on opportunities,” says Morgan.
Get Digital dedicates a chapter on how the roles of IT and marketing intertwine. While IT staff is generally focused on software installation, programming and support, they may not understand how to use marketing tools to engage in customer experience. “It’s really important to have someone who understands the value of the brand, communication, the interaction with people, engagement and how technology supports that,” says Morgan. As companies begin to acknowledge the need to hire individuals to fulfill marketing technology roles, overtime these positions will become obsolete as marketers get acclimated to a digital environment and become accustomed to how technology platforms support overall business goals.
Morgan says that he wrote the book for marketers, but he believes that C-Level executives can benefit from understanding the reasoning behind decisions made from their marketing professionals. Get Digital provides readers with “research, explanations and my take on things,” says Morgan.
Get Digital begins with the state of technology today, then explains the different technologies—database platforms, content management systems, enterprise feedback management systems, marketing automation and analytics tools. The book wraps up with the process that can be used to implement technologies in their business—one of which these processes Morgan has created himself. His “Stair” process involves defining situations and timeframes, understanding the audience and tactics to solve problems and finally the end result.
Morgan believes that his constant hunger to learn has helped him to thrive in his business life. “I’m always trying to learn something new. Beyond work there’s something else that I’m actively doing and trying to figure out how to use that, either in my work or extracurricular,” says Morgan. He also believes that when working with clients, honesty is the best policy. “I work to be honest and very upfront with my clients. I think that works well for me,” says Morgan.