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I believe we are entering some increasingly changing times that will alter the course of what marketing looks like. Some companies are going through a BRAND IDENTITY crisis. Look at all the mergers, consolidations, closings and acquisitions. We live today in a world where brand awareness is quickly becoming a distant historical moment.

Think of all the iconic brands: Sears, K-Mart, Radio Shack, Netscape, AOL, Saturn, BlockBuster, Hummer, etc. Look at the disruptors: Amazon, Google, Apple, Netflix. The disruptors are getting much, much bigger and the iconic brands are in survival mode. Some brands have been able to thrive. McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Kohls and there are more.

The truth of the matter is how can we keep our brands alive and where should we invest our marketing dollars to make it happen.

Thankfully, I am not dependent on advertising dollars at the moment, or I would be in a world of hurt.

Right now, my goal is to seek out the best investments. I don’t think anyone has the answer(s) just yet. Netflix is forcing the issue of ad-free show viewing. Google recently cut back their fees, and they are updating their algorithm to identify sites that are not ad friendly, (example: those ads that pop-up and take over the screen). Amazon is introducing Alexa which controls which brands customers can access. Amazon’s goal is to have fewer iconic brands overall.

For marketers, where is the best return? I believe it really comes down to the following tactics:

Become a disruptor – It is going to be important for companies to find ways to disrupt their industry to maintain current customers and continue to bring in new customers.

Look for the means to compete with Amazon – Amazon is a competitor in every industry.

Continue to invest in technology – Without technology, it will be tough to compete. It is imperative to build faster, simpler, better experience applications for internal and external clients.

Invest in client service – Client service is a necessity today. Service to customers has never been more important.

Review current marketing mix – Review and execute new plans that look at maximizing brand awareness and exposure. Customers have so much information, from many sources. Marketers need to reevaluate dollars being allocated and find more efficient ways to get a return on investment.


2017 should be a wake-up call to all marketers. Time is of the essence, and it is time to move fast and look for better ways to invest marketing dollars. I am in the process of formulating my plan and execution of a new marketing strategy, and I hope to talk more about it as we work through some changes over the second half of 2017.

What does your marketing plan look like for the remainder of 2017?