Old Marketing

In marketing days gone by, the only way to reach potential customers was to post OOH (Out of Home) advertisements – radio, television, and mail marketing that reached people where they lived…literally.

Those days, however, are long gone. Unfortunately, the old school marketers are not gone yet, so many businesses are still throwing their money at these ineffective and inefficient strategies.

Think of it this way: old marketing is like a Schwinn 10-speed and web marketing is like a Ducati motorcycle – it’s sleek, it’s fast, and it can turn on a dime.

Marketing vs. Communicating

Richard Edelman, of Edelman PR (Chicago), said this about the current state of marketing: “It’s always been marketing first and communications as a servant,” Edelman said. “I see the emergence of a new paradigm, which is ‘communications marketing’ instead of ‘marketing communications.’”

With marketing communications, the marketer can target a specific group with a copy ad. With communications marketing the marketer creates a piece that is interesting and useful for any reader, or viewer. And this leads to organic sharing, and free exposure.

So why aren’t all companies moving in this direction?

Simply put, it’s hard.

It requires a serious shift in mentality, as well as a serious time commitment. It’s a challenge for business owners to put forth time and money to create and publish content that doesn’t have an immediate and measurable effect on their bottom line.

But the new marketing is a long game – if done well, it has big, tangible returns. Before you jump in, it’s important to understand these 5 underlying principles:

1. Pull, Don’t Push: You need to give the customers something to get something. Give, give, give and know that your generosity will be rewarded. Establish yourself as a brilliant industry leader and share your expertise with the world. When someone is ready to pay money for what you do, they’ll come to you first.

2. Entertain and Educate: This is not a hard sell, so don’t put dollar signs in the customer’s face. Prove your worth first, then ask for the money later. Your guiding force should be what people will like, not what will get them to give you money.

3. Don’t Advertise Directly: Using your product or service’s name within the content screams desperation and it just looks like a badly disguised advertisement. A family attorney writing an article about how to find a good divorce lawyer should not recommend himself– it’s tacky and it’s beside the point of the article.

4. Be Relevant & Current: It’s critical to stay up to date with trends and constantly push new content that’s relevant to what’s going on right now. Jump on issues that are hot and related to what you do…even if it’s a bit of a stretch. That family attorney, for example, could write an interesting piece on the legal issues amongst the Game of Thrones family members and publish it right before the premiere of the new season.

5. Personality Plus: You have to loosen up, plain and simple. Your content, whether it be blogs or social media posts, has to have personality – show that you’re human and that you’re aware of the fact that your audience is too.

I know, some of these things are hard to swallow because they feel so very foreign to what you think marketing is and should be. But, if you want to move with the current and not get left behind, it’s time to accept new definitions and strategies.