Should All Marketers Quit Their Jobs and Call it a Day?

Bill Lee recently published a blog article for the Harvard Business Review entitled, Marketing Is Dead. Now, while his intentions might have been to capture viewer interest from his headline and get as much visibility possible, is there any truth to his outlandish claim? Is marketing, a practice so fundamental to all businesses worldwide, doomed to fail within the next few decades?

Take a minute to visualize the commercial world without marketing. No old spice commercials, no “got milk” print advertisements, no Nike billboards. And where would the world be without The Most Interesting Man in the World? I can only assume it would be a world without Dos Equis beer.

This goes to show that, if marketing didn’t exist, businesses would be at a standstill with no opportunity for expansion. How is the public supposed to know about you without a strategic marketing plan in place? Word of mouth between your close friends and family only goes so far.

There are those struggling start-up businesses out there who wonder why, after developing a decent product or service and creating a relevant, easily navigable website, their doors aren’t being knocked down with an influx of new customers on a daily basis. Sure, your products or services offered might satisfy the needs of thousands of people across the nation or world, but do you really expect your website to magically appear before their eyes?

Successful marketing is a constantly evolving process that takes time to put into practice and get right. It’s not an overnight sensation. Taking into consideration the large volume of advertising messages that consumers are exposed to on a daily basis, it is unrealistic to assume that your message is going to miraculously cut through the clutter and reach your target audience without exercising the range of marketing tools within your reach.

The point that the author drives home in this article is that marketing is not dead, but has taken a drastic turn in a different direction. There is no question that we are in an era where traditional forms of marketing are taking a backseat to digital and interactive media. However, traditional media isn’t going anywhere. The secret lies in properly integrated old and new media to diffuse your message across as many channels as possible. You can’t overgeneralize the population’s media habits and claim that, as everyone is on the Internet now, there is really no point in advertising elsewhere. The general population is spending more time on the Internet, but you can’t assume that they wander through malls with their eyes closed, or aren’t lured in by the juicy Carl’s Junior burger plastered on a billboard, or don’t take a second look at the stunning graphics in magazine ads. Don’t underestimate the value of marketing. Your bottom line depends on it.

In December 2011, I wrote an article titled Which Marketing Platform is Right for Your Business, which discusses the limitless options when it comes to marketing your company’s products or services. The article discusses choosing the right medium to disseminate your message and how to touch the correct audience.

To get a better understanding of how to integrate different forms of marketing into one cohesive campaign, take a look at this article from March 2012 titled, Choosing the Right Marketing Channel is the Wrong Decision. The thing about Integrated Marketing is that you don’t have to choose between one marketing platform versus another. In fact, you shouldn’t have to choose. Success comes into play when you use one advertising medium to optimize another in an effort to create a marketing campaign that works together to generate a positive brand image.