For anyone over the age of 30 who can remember marketing before blogs, before Tweets, and before the Internet, it’s mind-boggling to see how far we’ve come. It’s a completely different game, and one I personally think is better for the change. Let’s look at 10 ways that marketing has improved since the “old days.”
# 1. Customers are in control
I don’t even have to watch commercials on television if I don’t want to. I can Like an ad on Facebook. I, as a consumer, can tell advertisers what I like and what I don’t. They can tell by my actions (clicking on an ad, or not) what is appealing to me and what isn’t.
Analytics drive results. If a company blog isn’t getting as much traction on a post about its products, it might focus on how-to posts, which get a lot of attention. Companies no longer hold the reins when it comes to marketing and advertising.
# 2. It’s all about content
Whenever someone says the word “encyclopedia,” I giggle. I can no longer fathom having 10+ heavy books lining my bookshelf, limiting what I can find out about the world. Now, even my 9-year-old can get answers to any questions online. Blogs, whitepapers, books, magazine articles…it’s all there for the taking. And much of it is written by brands who want to find a way to connect with consumers.
# 3. RO[X] is important
Call it Return on Investment, Engagement, or Interaction. Whatever you’re measuring, you can. Gone are the days that we hid behind the excuse, “Well, we can’t truly measure how effective our billboard/radio ad/social media campaign is.” We’ve simply shifted our thinking. It might not be a direct measure of tweet to sale, but we have a better sense of how our branding efforts are driving customers to our sites and stores.
# 4. The medium has changed
While yes, we do still have billboards, phone book ads, and magazine ads, we’re finally seeing businesses of every size invest in what once seemed trendy: online ads, blogs, podcasts, ebooks, and affiliate marketing. These are easier to measure, and they’re where our customers are.
# 5. Marketing is now affordable
Back in the day, if you didn’t have tens of thousands of dollars/pounds/Euros, you couldn’t compete against the big players. But now we’re all on an equal playing field. If you can write great content, you can rival the blog of a major corporation. If you’re adept at connecting with an audience through social media, even the largest conglomerate will break a sweat. Everything is cost-effective enough that we can dabble in new areas, see what works, and tweak our marketing strategy on the go.
# 6. Marketing 2.0 is nimble
Speaking of that giant budget: the old school way was to invest in long-term solutions that you couldn’t change once you realized they weren’t effective. You’d wait an entire year until your ad contract was up to make a change. And if there was a typo in your phone book ad? Too bad for you.
These days, marketing turns on a dime. A new social platform or app can completely change how you reach your target audience. The more agile you are with your marketing, the more competitive you stay.
# 7. The eggs aren’t in one basket
Old school marketing meant a small business probably poured all its resources into a single channel (after all, the budget didn’t allow for much more). Now, because of the affordability, small businesses can easily include a mix of social, content, ads, emails, press releases and offline marketing for best results.
# 8. Marketing is fun
You don’t need a Master’s degree in Marketing to get the job done. You already get Facebook because you’re there checking out funny pics of Uncle Eddie. You read content, so you understand how blogs work. Marketing is easier than ever for the average person to work on, and it’s fun to use.
# 9. Marketing is changing fast
If you get accustomed to one social platform or marketing channel, you’ll soon be knocked off your feet when the next great thing comes along. Be open to change, and adapt to new technologies as they hurdle your way.
# 10. The future looks bright
We’re doing so much more in marketing with less financial investment. Every day, a new tool to help us comes along. We’re finding better data about our customers that helps us better market to them. I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s next in the world of marketing!
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