Marketers should be wary of placing too much emphasis on the general term ‘digital marketing’ and ignoring important concerns such as the quality and relevance of the message they are sending to consumers, experts have argued.

Zaid Al-Qassab, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer at BT, and David Wheldon, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) were among the speakers on a Marketing Society panel at Advertising Week Europe.

One of the points that came out of the discussion was that focusing too much on the increasingly broad concept of ‘digital marketing’ can weaken specific messaging campaigns and result in marketers looking at the wrong metrics.

Mr Al-Qassab went as far as to say the word ‘digital’ should be removed from marketing discussions altogether.

“When marketing was growing in the first half of the 20th century, particularly around print, we didn’t call them paper marketers did we? The word just has nothing to do with consumers,” he argued.

“Inside a corporation, the word digital drives people to look at all the wrong metrics such as cost-per-click and likes. They over-invest in digital and forget their message.”

Mr Wheldon put forward the argument that the growth of digital marketing has come at the expense of transparency.

The RBS CMO said the time has come for all parts of the advertising ecosystem to be held to account equally.

Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson published an article back in August 2015 which claimed that the phrase ‘digital marketing’ had “gone the same way as ‘international marketing’ – into obsolescence.”

BT and RBS on why marketers should kill off the word ‘digital’┬áMarketing Week