I’m not trying to be rude here, but someone has to say it: traditional marketers need to retire. Or at least give up the marketing strategies from the 80’s to become more relevant to millennials and this tech savvy generation. Traditional marketing or outbound marketing has become less effective in the recent decades as more consumers have become accustomed to the reality that they have choices when it comes to consuming content and ignoring brand messages.

Traditional Marketing is Outdated and Impersonal
Every afternoon when I go to the mailbox to find out what new things are in there, I usually get a bunch of direct mail flyers, cards, and posters. Where do they go after I see them? Straight to the trash! Why? Because these direct mail messages do not relate to me or any of the people living in my house. Why are lawyers sending me direct mail about helping in case of injury or bankruptcy when we didn’t notify them that we had these problems? It makes me wonder how they got our address in the first place.

This pattern of sending mass brand messages to a group of people without understanding their problems and needs at a certain time is usual behavior for traditional marketers. The lack of effort towards audience segmentation and personalization causes a lot of consumers to ignore and become frustrated with their messages. Consumers do not want to be sent messages that they did not ask for, participate in, or show interest in.

Consumers Want to Break Up with Marketers
As technology advances and new media mediums become more popular, the choices for how consumers consume content become more broad, and traditional marketing messages (telemarketing, TV and radio ads, etc) become easier to ignore.

To get a better understanding of this let’s examine how these advancements and changes compete with traditional marketing channels:
● Caller ID allows phone users to see the number that is calling them so they can have the choice of whether to answer the phone or block the number calling them. This prevents businesses from sending messages that callers might interpret as spam.

● TiVo, DVR, and other TV recording systems allow viewers to skip TV advertisements.

● Traditional TV is in competition with on-demand streaming services like Amazon Prime, HBO and Netflix. They have original shows that have become popular to mainstream audiences and viewers can watch these shows without ads.

● Music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify have become the new “radio” for music lovers. They can listen to hours of their favorite playlists with little commercials, unlike traditional radio.

● XM/Sirius Radio challenged traditional radio with their interesting content and commercial-free services. With the most interesting radio personalities on that station; they have a more engaged following than traditional radio stations.

Providing Targeted Value is the New Marketing
So how can marketers send important messages to consumers without being ignored? Marketers need to focus on providing value to their target consumers in order to gain their trust and loyalty. Consumers tend to not ignore messages that are designed to help them and are more likely to buy from a brand that they trust.

This kind of marketing can be achieved through inbound marketing. Inbound marketing focuses on catering to the interests of target consumers and being available whenever they want to buy from them. Unlike traditional marketing, inbound marketing is not seen as distracting spam. When marketers provide value on their owned channels, consumers are more likely to positively respond to them and marketers are not in competition with technology or other media. If marketers want to become more relevant they must attract consumers, not distract them.