Marketing Technologies Continue to Advance But the Marketing Playbook Remains the Same

January 17th, 2013 by Robert Pease

Marketing is changing both in terms of the technologies available to reach a target audience as well as the expectations that audience has on how they are marketed and sold to.  That said, there are some things that have remained the same from the beginning of commerce.  Focus on things like the customer’s needs, your reputation, delivering a quality product/service, and reaching your target customer in the most cost effective way.

Online marketing tactics like websites, social media, videos, pay per click ads, search optimization all are important but are just a combination of methods of reaching your audience and optimizing how you do it.  At the simplest level, it is not that much different than offline marketing activities like the location you choose for your business or where your booth is at a trade show.  Can people reach it? Do you have capacity? Are you easy to find?  How do you get people through the front door?

As pointed out in the Cluetrain Manifesto, markets are conversations so keep that front and center as you approach your marketing activities.  Real, authentic, and genuine goes much farther than stale, contrived, and gimmicky. For every successful on-line viral marketing campaign there are hundreds that go nowhere because sharing and popularity are more about people than technology. Don’t forget that there are real people on the other end of your marketing activities whether you are choosing to exhibit at a trade show or creating a new website.  Keep the wants, interests, concerns, and questions of your potential customer front and center.  Online vs. offline marketing options then just become tactical decisions about “how” you will reach this group.  They are not ends in and of themselves, rather a means to the end.

Keep in mind that no matter what the “new, new thing” is in marketing that the basics of the marketing playbook remain the same. Want to launch a marketing campaign?  Have an offer you want to share with an audience, craft a compelling reason for them to try it, and track who converts.  The technology that drives this is a secondary consideration and, in some cases, the realm of agencies or consultants.  Be cautious in using a complete outsourced mindset as often those professing expertise have a marginally better understanding than you do especially in new or emerging areas.  There is both art and science to on-line marketing just like offline so be aware that there are no sure things in either case.

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