There is no doubt that the world of marketing is in a state of change. In reality though, what we are seeing now is much more of a major disruption – a “perfect storm” if you will, caused by the rapid evolution of technology that was spurred on by the creation of the internet.
We can easily acknowledge that the internet has drastically changed how we can now search for information about a company or brand well before we ever choose to do business with them. For so many years we had been ruled by the ad agencies that developed the identity and taglines that built the brands that we chose to support. They “told” us what we needed to know, and for the most part we even believed it! However with time, and the power of Google and other search engines, we found that a little effort on our part could really help us to learn more about who we were doing business with.
And then things got really interesting! Not only could we search out information, but we could now share information – and experiences that we had in purchasing products or using services. We could create online reviews that spoke of how pleased we were… or not pleased. Now it was not just the company that drove the buying decision, but in fact each of us as well. Social Media expanded this phenomenon, but also allowed businesses to market themselves in new ways as well – and engage their followers to once again build their brands.
With this ability came the shift to “inbound marketing” as opposed to the more traditional “outbound” model that we had been so accustomed to. Content marketing became the buzzword. In short, businesses now look to share information in various media formats that pull people in and establish the source as a “thought leader.” We now want the search engines to find us and the expertise that we have to share – and then to get people to talk about it with their friends.
At the center of all of this change is technology – and our knowledge of how it can help us market ourselves. There is a tremendous book available online by Scott Brinker – it is titled A New Brand of Marketing. In this short book, Scott talks about 7 “meta-trends” that have shaped how we need to think about marketing. He explains in detail much of what I have touched on here, and helps put the perspective on how we all need to adapt to the changes. The book is a free download (great example of content marketing!), and is available through this link: http://chiefmartec.com/2014/03/new-brand-marketing-technology/ . At the end of the book, Scott quotes another marketing strategy consultant – Gord Hotchkiss, who had written in an article, “As a marketer, you have two choices: adapt and survive, or stand still and die. The ones who do the first the best will emerge at the top of the marketing food chain.”
I suspect we have all heard some iteration of this quote before – but it really does serve to push us to act in this new world.
Where are you at in the process?