Old school versus new school philosophies on marketing
have always been a subject of discussion in the marketing fraternity.
I believe that we should preserve the fundamentals of communicating and building relationships with customers.
Yet, there is an unavoidable evolution of marketing strategy, but they are founded on old ideas that Madmen-era marketers instilled and bred into consumers today.
Books, and Learning, and Stuff
There may be a problem with the current generation neglecting the past.
As with most polarizing topics, global warming is a direct impact from past consumer behaviors, government legislations, and just economies of scale.
I’m sure my 1983-86 diapers are still like McDonald’s fries, just as perfectly preserved and appear the same as it was created dropped in a landfill somewhere in New Jersey or rural Pennsylvania.
In university, during the early 2000s, we discussed the emergence from paper, billboards, radio, and television to online with the boom of the internet.
Websites were becoming important, and still are.
E-commerce was basic.
Yes, Gen Z, this was pre-smartphone where you could walk around and stand erect.
Consumers were still in awe of the Palm and Blackberry ball.
Applications were things on paper, not an icon on a cell phone.
Traditional methods of marketing reigned supreme but computer access was expanding and opportunities for online share was mostly in its growth phase.
Remember the absence of pop-ups?
This was a time where ebay or their subsidiary half.com was my choice for saving money on textbooks.
Sorry Jeff Bezos.
Napster was the jam for illegal music download.
And instead of Googling, just AskJeeves.
Tom was my first social media friend on MySpace (and great intro to coding).
And when crying my eyes out of how horrible dial up was, I could spill my guts and privacy out on LiveJournal.
Let’s Take a Look at a Thing Called a Textbook
I pulled one of my first marketing textbooks from 2003 out of my library, ‘Marketing Concepts and Strategies, 12th Edition’ by William M. Pride and O.C. Ferrell.
Pride and Ferrell were, at the time, 2 university professors – Texas A&M and Colorado State.
The first chapter intro writes about the video game wars and the “newest” Sony console the PlayStation2 and Microsoft launching the Xbox in 2001.
Feel old yet?
The authors defined marketing as “the process of creating, distributing, promoting, and pricing goods, services, and ideas to facilitate satisfying exchange relationships with customers in a dynamic environment.”
The key words of this definition that attracts me the most is the satisfaction of exchanging relationships with customers.
I’m a people person.
The relationships of customers to products and services is the baseline for most advertising.
The thoughts of:
How does this product make you feel?
What can this service allow you to do?
Why would you choose anything else?
A Lesson from the Not Too Distant Path
As we flip through the pages, the topic of adoption and use of technology peeks out.
The future was spelled out with fiber optics, and wireless communication.
The takeaway was technology will change the approach of companies to a problem and demand of customers.
Companies need to survive by adapting to these demands and changes.
In a recent consult with a customer, the notion that a website didn’t need to be updated and the adage ‘if it isn’t broke don’t fix it attitude’ erupted.
But the fancy jargon of SEO and other optimization was all they heard and read in business articles.
The inability to adapt and adopt criticism for your website or service will also destroy your company.
The thought of don’t judge a book by it’s cover can’t be applied in a visual and digital world we live in today.
If your website cannot reflect, evolve it’s marketing look and display what your company offers, then don’t bother.
You will only grow your business by word of mouth, which was 80 percent of the customers the consult client had.
Your business is going broke because you won’t fix it.
Evolution of Marketing: The Top 3 Trends for Now in Marketing
Building the Audience and Supporting Their Search
Customers want what they want.
Feed their needs and curiosities with your product or service.
Sell the lifestyle or benefits of adopting your product or service.
How will their life be better?
Developing this relationship is like courtship – take their hand and offer a lifetime of being their brand of choice.
Go Where Your Customers Are
Take the message to the places they frequent online.
This means social media, applications, contributor sites in the genres they read or interact with.
Not only do you create your brand profile, but you have to talk to people.
The digital age suspends human interaction, so make every effort to inject humanity into your communication.
Strive to be the Best
Consumers are savvy and will research more than one website.
This means you must, and I mean must, be on the first page of Search Engines.
You can invest in search advertising, but if you are on a budget, that might not be the best strategy.
Organic, aka, SEO, is your best best in the long-term.
For the Next Generation, and Even Current One
Digital has much potential and strength in the current scenario.
However, without personalization, it still would not give the desired results.
We must preserve the warmth and ease of engaging human emotion with another human being.
Humans act upon emotion, not just logic.
Fundraiser sites and non-profit charities leverage that emotion.
People spend and give money to strangers based on the emotional element, a story that penetrates the soul.
Change, adapt, and adopt.
Businesses need to be agile.
Yet, deviation from the foundation principles of human behavior is a risky move.
You can move people like chess pieces to achieve a checkmate, but pawns can’t move like knights, and knights don’t attack like Queens.
The environment you create in each consumer profile will be evolving in taste but not in fundamental movement.
Never forget the relationships between the business and the customer no matter how disconnected the human race becomes.
Which words in the marketing definition attract you?
How has the definition of marketing evolved?
Share your comments below.