Traditional marketing is an ex-parrott, writes Bill Lee in the Harvard Blog Network, dead and pushing up the daisies. Truth is, peer-to-peer means never having to say: let’s put this out to pitch to a few overpriced agencies. As has been evident for some time, the need for mediation is diminishing with every new node in the social network.
Mediation has never been a fair substitute for the real thing: as the skeptics told the papists centuries ago, the only thing less enjoyable than speaking to an invisible friend directly is to do so through the services of a cult of sex-starved fundamentalists in long skirts. And there were lessons for marketers in that epiphany.
As Bill writes: “Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead. Many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they’re operating within a dead paradigm. But they are. The evidence is clear”
First, buyers are no longer paying much attention. Several studies have confirmed that in the “buyer’s decision journey,” traditional marketing communications just aren’t relevant. 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.
Second, CEOs have lost all patience. In a devastating 2011 study of 600 CEOs and decision makers by the London-based Fournaise Marketing Group, 73% of them said that CMOs lack business credibility and the ability to generate sufficient business growth, 72% are tired of being asked for money without explaining how it will generate increased business, and 77% have had it with all the talk about brand equity that can’t be linked to actual firm equity or any other recognized financial metric.
Third, in today’s increasingly social media-infused environment, traditional marketing and sales not only doesn’t work so well, it doesn’t make sense. Think about it: an organization hires people — employees, agencies, consultants, partners — who don’t come from the buyer’s world and whose interests aren’t necessarily aligned with his, and expects them to persuade the buyer to spend his hard-earned money on something. Huh? When you try to extend traditional marketing logic into the world of social media, it simply doesn’t work. Just ask Facebook, which finds itself mired in an ongoing debate about whether marketing on Facebook is effective. [ more ]