How The Focus Of Marketing Is Shifting For Better Or Worse

Before the era of digital marketing, things were quite different in the industry. Before marketers started using new digital marketing ideas, they focused on building up their brands. Now, they use new ideas such as retargeting, algorithms and uniquely tailored ads. Marketing is much more driven today by data and analytics.

For a good example of what marketing used to be, think of Super Bowl commercials. In particular, consider Coke’s “Together” Superbowl ad a few years back. Yes, it encourages you to buy the product. However, how many people do you really think got off their couches during the big game to go grab a coke from the store? Coke knows that is unlikely to happen as well, but they want to define and refine what their brand stands for in the market.

The commercial itself shows this, since it is not exactly subtle about the social messaging and ‘togetherness’ that the brand brings. A name says a lot, and a well marketed name can be worth millions of dollars. The sort of instant recognition is something that many brands fight for but few achieve. Coke – through countless commercials like this – has achieved that kind of notoriety.

Different Medium, Different Goals

It is interesting to note that the sorts of advertising and marketing targeted at creating this kind of brand recognition seem to come mostly through traditional channels. Digital marketing funnels, for all the perks, are highly focused on driving immediate leads. This makes sense since it is so highly targetable and personalized. But it is important for companies to remember the need to build up their brand name as well as driving leads. After all, that is what leads to maintaining power in the market.

Traditional marketing covers all sorts of fields. Billboards, flyers and door to door sales have advanced companies in the past. Companies use printing services such as Coroplast sign printing for traditional marketing purposes. Companies that are tired of paying for every single impression and lead ought to remember the olden days of signage. Then, you would simply stick a sign in a customer’s yard (think contractors and home security companies) and let every pair of eyes that walks or drives by take note.

Businesses today are hyper focused on digital marketing funnels and establishing new online strategies. Everyone is pursuing the next best thing in the online world. Marketing teams today use new pay-per-click strategies and SEO fads. It seems like no one is talking about the more traditional forms of advertising anymore. While it is good to stay on top of the trends and at the forefront of your industry, jumping from one fad to the next without ever giving anything the time to stick is a surefire way to waste your marketing budget.

Time Tested, Don Draper Approved

Traditional marketing tactics have a proven staying power since they’ve been around for so long. Many small business marketing teams still use traditional approaches. While the way they look and function may have slightly changed, can you ever imagine a world without billboards? Investing in these sorts of traditional tactics means that your company will at least have marketing collateral that will last. You can’t pursue leads at the expense of long term brand recognition. The two go hand in hand, and one without the other will never be as powerful as both together.

The era of the Mad Men may be over. The economy may never have the mass appeal and unified consumer culture of a few certain brands that made that sort of thing possible anymore, but marketers have to make an effort to establish brands that will last. Our economy may be atomized and individualistic to the point where it is no longer possible to establish a ‘household name’ anymore. Nonetheless, with a greater focus on traditional advertising techniques, marketers can at least create for their brands the sort of recognition and loyalty that keeps them as the first choice for consumers in their niche when the time comes for them to buy.

This is what marketing used to be all about. While this old marketing mindset may show up in Superbowl commercials from time to time, it is no longer the dominant focus in the industry. While both schools of thought are necessary for a successful business, traditional marketing needs to make a comeback in how we approach our customers. After all, you can’t buy customer loyalty with a pay-per-click campaign.

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