Defining marketing in the digital age – introducing M3

“The increase in new channels and technologies has dramatically changed the environment in which marketers operate. But the way in which marketing is taught, understood and operates has not really changed. This is not sustainable. We need a new unifying framework as a reference for what marketing has become,” Ashley Friedlein, Founder of Econsultancy.

This is the news that marketers have received from Econsultancy in their latest report which is set to shake up traditional marketing models used by marketers and businesses.

The Modern Marketing Model (M3) aims to define marketing in the digital age by unifying traditional and digital marketing disciplines which will inform marketing’s remit, required competencies and organisational design.

What are the objectives of M3?

– Answer the question “What is marketing?” now we’re in the digital age.
– Change and improve how marketing is taught and understood both in academia and in the workplace.
– To unite existing different models and elements into one framework to fuse classic and digital marketing.
– Provide a model that covers not just the ‘marketing mix’ but other important areas like strategy and brand.
– Ensure the model works for everyone, not only large advertisers with big media spend but to be relevant for small organisations both product and service businesses and B2B and B2C.

Marketers, whether in-house- or agency side, have been embracing digital and classic marketing disciplines as one for some time but what we have been lacking is a professional industry model to standardise processes across the board.

Marketing professionals have been adopting new skills as the competencies and capabilities needed for marketing change. Data and analytics, customer experience and content are all areas of expertise acknowledged in the industry but not in any definitive model.

The Modern Marketing Model does not aim to create a brand-new vision of marketing processes but rather to clarify, structure and make more consistent areas of marketing used in modern times.

Here is M3

M3 - Diagram

Econsultancy have also provided a handy diagram to compare historic marketing models so we can see how they have evolved over the last sixty years, culminating in the ten elements of the Modern Marketing Model.

M3 - History

The report also demonstrates the reasons for change and where we can incorporate digital practices. Most significantly the addition of Data & Measurement as a core element which didn’t exist before and is now a marketing asset. The diagram below outlines the obvious changes that M3 brings and the reason behind them.

M3 - Changes marketing

M3 is a big development and a sign of the times in this rapidly changing industry. We would encourage all industry professionals to read the report which is extremely informative. The full report can be found here:


Sophie Polak.

PR Account Manager