In a 2012, yet still relevant, Harvard Business Review blog post, Bill Lee pronounced that “marketing is dead.” He stated that consumers purchasing habits have changed and that “buyers are checking out product and service information in their own way, often through the Internet, and often from sources outside the firm such as word-of-mouth or customer reviews.”
Lee outlined a new marketing model founded on community marketing, customer influencers and engaging customers with the product.
The notion that “marketing is dead” is one that I have encountered quite often when I share with someone I’ve just met that I’m a marketer.
I agree: traditional marketing is quickly becoming irrelevant.
But marketing is not dead, it’s just drastically different.
A new form of marketing is emerging that is built on collaboration,
listening, respect and experiential branding.
Do Channels Still Matter?
The concept of multi-channel marketing over traditional channel marketing has received a lot of buzz in recent years. And it’s definitely part of the new marketing paradigm that includes:
- Buyer personas that clearly detail how your customers move through the sales cycle.
- Integration of online and offline messaging, branding and customer experience.
- Consistently creating valuable content (content marketing) driven by research on what information your customers and prospects want coupled with SEO knowledge (how quickly can you gain visibility for keywords most important to your product or service).
- Social sharing across all channels as well as multi-channel campaigns.
- Responsive design that ensures your emails, website and landing pages are adaptable across devices, especially mobile.
- Fusion between offline events and online activity – event and campaign hashtags, live event tweeting and streaming, social media contests promoted online and offline, QR codes, to name a few tactics.
- Holistic measurement across channels to understand how your activities individually and combined are contributing toward your business goals.
It’s More than Multi-Channel Marketing
Multi-channel marketing is definitely an important concept for the new marketing model, but it’s not the whole story. Brands should be thinking about the consumer experience from the standpoint of sustained engagement along a continuum with critical touchpoints along the way. This is true for B2B and B2C companies.
Knowing how customers and prospects move through the continuum and engage with it (using data and analytics) and which touchpoint or combination of touchpoints contribute to conversions will inform your multi-channel strategy. From there, you can craft consistent visual, verbal and experiential customer and prospect journeys.
This post was written by Brenda Bryan, MA, President of Kalpana Marketing.