This was such a provocative question, I had to save it for posterity. You see, if you’re asking this question, appreciate that you’re asking the wrong question.
It’s a rather inaccurate notion.
But let me clarify something that will probably catch you unexpectedly in my saying it’s inaccurate.
It’s not insulting of digital marketers.
It’s not insulting of sales either.
It’s really just a crude assessment of what marketing is.
Marketing isn’t door to door sales.
Marketing isn’t cold calling.
And there is nothing about “digital” that is similar to that.
In fact, lots of businesses still sell. Most do. And they do it door to door. They do it by calling. They do it by emailing. They do it by meeting.
And that isn’t marketing, it’s sales.
So what would actual (as in legitimate and genuine) digital marketers do without the internet? They’d keep.
Pre-internet we did focus groups, ran surveys, and did market research. We directed a business as to what to provide, at what price, where and when, and more, so that the business can make money AND compete.
Marketing is what tells a business it needs to cold call, or do door to door sales, or run Facebook ads, or put up billboards.
No internet, we’ll just go back to marketing and calling it just “marketing.” Which probably should be done anyway since “digital marketing” really only means marketing but only online, which isn’t really what marketing is.