During my time as entrepreneur trying to build an image for my startup and its first software product I quickly came to realize on the importance of digital marketing. I learned that implementing a successful digital marketing campaign is hard work and takes considerable amount of time.
In today’s world, digital marketing has become the context for all marketing efforts with the divide between offline and online marketing rapidly blurring. In fact, digital marketing accounted for 29% of total marketing budget in 2014, and is expected to reach 35% by 2019.
Within digital marketing, content marketing has been identified as one of the best channels in terms of return on investment (ROI). The philosophy behind content marketing is focused on attracting and retaining customers by consistently creating and curating useful and relevant content, with the purpose of modifying customer behavior.
It is about communicating with your costumers in a recurrent manner without selling, and involves on owning media channels instead of renting them. Think of it as if your customers are looking forward to receive your marketing because is valuable to them.
Although high quality Blogging is one of the most popular marketing content strategies, visual content can be as powerful, and that’s where digital art makes a splash.
What is digital art?
Digital art is defined as art that involves digital technology as an essential part of the creative and presentation process. This means that digital art can be considered as art that has non-trivially modified by a computer process. It can be computer-generated in its entirety or it can be created by other sources and subsequently transformed by a computing process.
What is the current status of digital art?
Despite the fact that art created and displayed on a screen is still fairly small when compared to the traditional art market, it is currently experiencing hype. Indeed, Google has recently recognized the growing interest in the digital art movement and announced in 2014 a global initiative named ‘DevArt’ (https://devart.withgoogle.com/) with the purpose to stimulate hackers and artists to explore deeper into the intersection of art and technology. Furthermore, in 2013 the renowned auction house Phillips in conjunction with Tumblr hosted the first auction solely dedicated to digital art (http://paddleson.tumblr.com/).
It is evident that digital art is being recognized as a valid form of artistic expression.
How is digital art being commercialized?
Digital art has been commercialized primarily by selling limited printed editions as an attempt to translate the digital dimension from the computer screen to a physical object.
Very recently, this practice has started to evolve into the production and commercialization of specialized screens to be placed on the wall and supported by software apps to buy and collect digital art from a marketplace. To my knowledge, there are three startups already offering physical platforms to commercialize and display digital art. They are:
Depict - https://depict.com/home
Electric Objects - http://shop.electricobjects.com
Framed - https://frm.fm
A fourth company named Sedition (http://www.seditionart.com) is focusing on implementing a technology platform to buy and resell digital art online-only and visualization takes place via a browser over the Internet.
The concept behind commercializing digital art is based on the assumption that it can appreciate in value over time. This is so because the platforms mentioned above favor a mechanism in which the artist sells digital editions in limited numbers tied to dynamic pricing (that is every 10 editions or so that are sold the price per edition increases a fixed amount). Thus, the notion of value appreciating in a digital edition is popularizing and you can even resell digital work in a secondary market once the editions of a particular artwork has sold out.
In somehow, these approaches relates to the one created by Apple to sell music online with iTunes while listening your purchased music via an iPod. The main difference is that when you purchase digital art it has the potential to appreciate in value over time and gives the opportunity to resell the artwork you own, while this is not possible with music bought online.
At the individual level, when you buy digital art from an artist what you are buying is the artwork in .JPEG, .PNG or .GIF file format that is a limited digital edition. You also receive a certificate of authenticity. Depending on the artist, you may also receive a dedicated Internet domain where to appreciate the artwork.
The strategies mentioned above are attempts to reconcile the democratic dimension of publishing digital art on the Internet while embracing the exclusivity of the traditional art market in order to build the appreciation of value of artworks in the digital domain.
Why should companies care about the ascendance in popularity of digital art?
Companies should really pay attention to this trend because marketing and branding on the digital domain is about content marketing, social media without original content is a very poor channel in terms of ROI. Companies should aspire to become as ‘authentic’ and ‘original’ as they can in their branding efforts and start looking seriously at the value created when partnering with artists (or any other content creator) to tell their story for them in unique and creative ways.
Thinking creatively is hard work.
Artists can offer companies the opportunity to reach new audiences and translate a more humanizing aspect of the product, technology or service that is they are trying to sell.
One thing that really interests me as scientist, artist and technologist is the humanization of science through art. Very often we hear about the intersection of art with technology as a fertile field for innovation, however, we seldom listen about the intersection of art with science. Art brings empathy when communicating with the intended audience and has the capacity to convey complex concepts into simpler ones.
Without any doubt, brands will come to play a big role in digital art patronage in the foreseeable future, driving at the intersection of art and commerce. Furthermore, cross-pollination between art and sponsored advertising is no longer an ethical concern, as digital media becomes the norm.
Where to find digital art?
Here I provide a non-exhaustive list of websites where you can get started in finding digital art / artists.
Synaptic stimuli - http://www.synapticstimuli.com/
The creators project - http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/en_us
The fox is black - http://thefoxisblack.com/
Rafael Rozendaal - http://www.newrafael.com
Booooooom - http://www.booooooom.com/
MartinCalvino - http://www.martincalvino.co/
Newhive - https://newhive.com/
Empty Kingdom - http://www.emptykingdom.com/
IGNANT - http://www.ignant.de/about/
I envision a close relationship between artists and brands (corporate, institutional / organizational, and even personal) in the digital domain. To a certain extent brands could even patronize and/or own digital art museums and commission art projects related to their areas of interest with the objective to bring a more humanizing dimension to their activities.
Fertile fields for these interactions to occur are (to my opinion) at the intersection of art and science*. For instance, imagine digital art museums showcasing artistic projects on climate change, genetically modified plants (organisms), synthetic biology, phyto-remediation, sustainable energy from biomass, edible vaccines, land-degradation and agriculture, opto-genetics to name a few. Art allows for the conversation to get started!
*Note: If you aligned with the idea on creating digital art museums to commission, showcase, and curate art projects at the intersection with science go ahead and contact me.
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_art - accessed on December 30, 2015
Brad Troemel (2012) Why your .JPEGs aren’t making you a millionaire. The Creators Project: accessed on December 30, 2015
Julia Kagansky (2012) Are brands the new medicis? The Creators Project: accessed on December 30, 2015.
James Bridle (2014) Beyond pong: why digital art matters. The Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/jun/18/-sp-why-digital-art-matters -
Scott Reyburn (2014). On screen and on the block: the market for computer-created artwork is growing. The New York Times - http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/02/arts/international/on-screen-and-on-the-block-digital-artwork.html?_r=0 - accessed on December 30, 2015
Tina Amirtha (2015) For digital art, watermarks aim to bring more aura – and a hotter market. FastCompany - http://www.fastcompany.com/3041987/watermarks-for-digital-art - accessed on December 30, 2015
Sarah Brady (2015) What percent of revenue do publicly traded companies spend on marketing and sales? Taken from vital. https://vtldesign.com/inbound-marketing/content-marketing-strategy/percent-of-revenue-spent-on-marketing-sales/
Neal Lappe (2015) How much should you budget for marketing in 2016? Obtained from Webstrategies - http://www.webstrategiesinc.com/blog/how-much-budget-for-online-marketing-in-2014
Digital marketing comes of age. Taken from http://gartnerformarketers.com/CMOspend and accessed on January 2, 2015
What is content marketing? Taken from http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/ and accessed on January 3, 2016
Keywords: Martin Calvino; digital art