Back in January, I attended the What’s Next DC conference, a one-day meeting at GW that brought together a few hundred social media, mobile marketing, and digital content professionals. With camcorder in hand, I conducted over an hours worth of interviews at the conference on a range of topics.
One of the concepts I hadn’t heard before was Digital Fitness. Championed by Bonin Bough, the digital and social media guy at PepsiCo, the term is an allusion to the routine that truly in-shape subject themselves to in their quest to push their bodies physically.
Following the analogy a step further, PepsiCo has established something called a Digital Fitness Bootcamp (can the more aerobic Digital Fitness Zumba be far behind?) Upon hearing Bough talk about the approach, I immediately thought of the Content Strategy Institute’s postulation about print returning to prominence. Not here, it seems. Maybe at Coca-Cola, then?
In a Q& A with eMarketer, Bough presented the concept as mere 21st century survival:
“If we want to be a leading organization, then we have to be the most digitally fit organization in the world. This is so far beyond just marketing and communications—this stretches from everything from supply chain to sales. If we want to win, one of the components of winning will be continuously educating our global organization on how to use, leverage and think about digital in every aspect of their job.”
At PepsiCo, the Bootcamp looks like most continuing education models: online and well as experiential classes. But, the “gym bag” concept – an actual bag full of tablets and other digital hardware – allows executives the chance to experience how consumers might use these tools in pursuit of goods and services. With Adobe using 74% of its marketing budget on digital initiatives and tools, tomorrow’s marketing department has an additional responsibility beyond creating consumer need: education, both internal and external. What steps is your organization taking?
Bough says most companies aren’t ready to become digitally fit.
(Note: Since the What’s Next DC conference, Bough has moved from PepsiCo to Kraft. Interesting to see of the Digital Fitness concept survives at PepsiCo or if it exists at Kraft)