“Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead.”
That is the claim by Bill Lee in an article for Harvard Business Review.
He world of marketing has dramatically shifted in recent years and the process for reaching potential customers and potential students has changed. No longer does traditional advertising and marketing do the trick. Today’s career colleges need innovative marketing solutions that utilize the new resources that exist today with Internet marketing.
In an effort to drive home his point, Lee offered the following critiques of traditional marketing the need for businesses to adapt.
· Several studies have confirmed that in the “buyer’s decision journey,” traditional marketing communications just aren’t relevant. Buyers arechecking out product and service information in their own way, often through the Internet, and often from sources outside the firm such as word-of-mouth or customer reviews.
· In a devastating 2011 study of 600 CEOs and decision makers by the London-based Fournaise Marketing Group, 73 percent of them said that CMOs lack business credibility and the ability to generate sufficient business growth, 72 percent are tired of being asked for money without explaining how it will generate increased business, and 77% have had it with all the talk about brand equity that can’t be linked to actual firm equity or any other recognized financial metric.
· In today’s increasingly social media-infused environment, traditional marketing and sales not only doesn’t work so well, it doesn’t make sense. Think about it: an organization hires people — employees, agencies, consultants, partners — who don’t come from the buyer’s world and whose interests aren’t necessarily aligned with his, and expects them to persuade the buyer to spend his hard-earned money on something. Huh? When you try to extend traditional marketing logic into the world of social media, it simply doesn’t work. Just ask Facebook, which finds itself mired in anongoing debate about whether marketing on Facebook is effective.
A lot has changed in the area of marketing, and while new resources are emerging, Lee writes that we are only at the beginning.
“There’s a lot of speculation about what will replace this broken model — a sense that we’re only getting a few glimpses of the future of marketing on the margins,” Lee writes. “Actually, we already know in great detail what the new model of marketing will look like. It’s already in place in a number of organizations. Here are its critical pieces:
“Restore community marketing. Used properly, social media is accelerating a trend in which buyers can increasingly approximate the experience of buying in their local, physical communities. For instance, when you contemplate a major purchase, such as a new roof, a flat screen TV, or a good surgeon, you’re not likely to go looking for a salesperson to talk to, or to read through a bunch of corporate website content. Instead, you’ll probably ask neighbors or friends — your peer network — what or whom they’re using.
“Find your customer influencers. Many firms spend lots of resources pursuing outside influencers who’ve gained following on the Web and through social media. A better approach is to find and cultivate customer influencers and give them something great to talk about. This requires a new concept of customer value that goes way beyond customer lifetime value (CLV), which is based only on purchases. There are many other measures of a customer’s potential value, beyond the money they pay you.
“Help them build social capital. Practitioners of this new, community-oriented marketing are also rethinking their customer value proposition for such MVP (or “Customer Champion” or “Rockstar”) customer advocates and influencers. Traditional marketing often tries to encourage customer advocacy with cash rewards, discounts or other untoward inducements. The new marketing helps its advocates and influencers create social capital: it helps them build their affiliation networks, increase their reputation and gives them access to new knowledge — all of which your customer influencers crave.”
You can read the rest of Lee’s article here. It reinforces the idea that today’s career colleges need innovative marketing solutions, which is why so many are turning to Paradigm Digital for help in developing an Internet marketing strategy that capitalizes on today’s new media resources.