Spend some time on the internet and within a very short while you’ll run into a common thread running through the various marketing-focused blogs and websites. There’s increasing popularity in the notion that ‘conventional marketing’ is dying out, and is becoming increasingly irrelevant.
Today, all the talk is about social media, customer engagement and so forth. The theory is that so-called ‘conventional’ marketing techniques and assumptions are outmoded within today’s ’empowered customers’ who have changed the way that they evaluate products and brands. Proponents of the theory point to how the new-generation media channels are challenging conventional marketing ideas on targeting and reach.
A Greater Choice In Content DeliveryPublishers and broadcasters are suffering with regards to revenue generation because many advertisers feel that such content distribution vehicles are no longer as efficient as other communications media. Companies now have a greater choice in how to deliver their content. Outlets such as social media allow organizations to target audiences with far higher level of granularity than was previously possible with mainstream media channels such as newspapers, magazines or radio.
So, is ‘conventional marketing’ as we’ve come to know it on it’s way out?
Yes, and no. Conventional marketing has always been dead. Why? Because there is no such thing as ‘conventional’ marketing, just as there’s no such thing as ‘new-age’ marketing. Marketing has always been about using the most applicable strategies, tactics, communications and media channels of the day. Whether that’s a sandwich board, newspaper ad, cable TV informercial or social media campaign. Marketing evolves, just as we as consumers evolve.
Sure, there’s no doubt that the growth in “word of mouse” – social media, blogs, forums and suchlike – has played its part with regards to existing media channels. However, that’s all they are: channels. Advertising and communications may well be part of marketing; but marketing isn’t (just) advertising and communications.
Marketing Has EvolvedMarketing’s fundamental concepts haven’t changed with the advent of new communication channels. They’ve evolved. If anything, the opportunities that internet-based channels provide have made marketing activities even more relevant in terms of communicating a business value proposition.
The way we communicate – and who’s doing the communicating – is changing. Of that there is not doubt. Marketing continues to evolve, as it’s been doing for decades. As a result, marketing strategies that we’ve taken as read for years may – over time – become less applicable in some instances. But that’s how it’s always been.
If ‘conventional’ marketing is dead, then it was already buried a long time ago.