Specialists are worthless unless they're coordinated i.e. INTEGRATED. I get relevant specialists for each project. I listen to them, but someone has to choose which specialties should take part in the first place! True, the pace of change has created space for people who are super specialized to have a direct relationship with brands. But would you really go and buy ONLY for instance Social Media without trying to integrate it with the rest of your communication? No.
Every surface, every aspect, every person conveys brand. Whether we want to or not. It's evident that all parts of the organizations take part. The role of marketing is to measure and influence, wherever branding happens. To be aware of all aspects, not just the ones that marketing has dealt with in the past.
I'd say it's even more important NOW to look for consistency. At the same time, new tools and channels allow you to address people in different contexts, and you need to adapt to that. It's like the consistency now happens at a higher level of abstraction.
The basic premises - psychology, human interaction - are still the same. Sometimes though it is hard to see how they apply in new channels. It takes time for new tools to "settle in" into human society, but once they have they become eerily recognizable, tending to old needs.
It's the shift from "talking to" to "conversing with". There's no way any longer to "control" a conversation.
I would beg to differ, a little. It's obvious that great execution is important, but at the same time it's really important to be flexible. These days the very foundations of a marketing project can change at the last minute. Flexibility is really the key.
I agree with Michelle. I really don't like to make a distinction. It's the structure of "classic advertising agencies" that create an artficial need to distinguish between "old" and "digital" media. To me it's all communication. What channels you select should be decided by the individual needs of each project.