Traditional Marketing Never Existed. Long Live Innovation

RopeToday I heard a panel of three industry experts discuss the future of interactive marketing.* At that event several audience questions compared interactive marketing to traditional marketing. The traditional marketing they defined lives only in a Second Life. It lives only in our minds.

Marketing in the Moment

Marketers typically feel we live in a tug of war. On one side we employ the tools we think are working based on past testing, which always seem to be losing efficacy. On the other we experiment with promising technologies. If you’re uncomfortable with chaos go into accounting.

The tools aren’t fighting a battle. The struggle is waged only in our mind as we resist change. What matters is how effectively we define our strategy and implement it using the methods we select. Direct mail and social networking are both great tools, neither of which serves all purposes.

Transformation into butterflyOld Media Transform Themselves

Television and Nielsen ratings were cited by one questioner as traditional. If so, the explosion of cable channels has taken traditional marketing far beyond my memories of ads in the 60s.

We ad new ways to touch consumers at an increasing rate. Meanwhile the old ways reinvent themselves. Look at the telephone.

Danny Newman revolutionized ¬†orchestra marketing in the 70s with subscription-based direct marketing. Let’s call his methods traditional. A few years ago the New York Philharmonic’s David Snead pointed out in Symphony Magazine how some of his ideas are embraced today, some are adapted and some have been dropped.

Whither Goest Thou, Audience?

The always-engaging Scott Berg, Director of Global Strategy at HP, shared two statistics that call us to engage with interactive technology.

  1. When Scott addressed the same group last July there were 9 million tweets a day on Twitter. Now there are 50 million. That isn’t just kids.
  2. In 2003 HP spent 2% of their marketing funds on digital media. This year it will be 56%. HP was able to do this only because they committed to change in the budget process. Its audience moved to digital, so its efforts changed direction.

What percent of your spending goes to digital?

*A Peek into the Future: The future of interactive marketing and its changing role in successful business models, hosted by the Houston Interactive Marketing Association.
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