I am firm believer that if you are thinking strategically when setting your marketing plan, you are open-minded and will consider activities that you have never considered before. Times are different right now and things have changed. The way we communicate with our customers most certainly has changed. Gone are the days that you, the marketer, make the decision on how the customer gets his information.
New Marketing tends to be online, electronic and digital. Traditional Marketing tends to be delivered in print format or in person. Some of New Marketing is not “just arrived” new (like websites and email marketing) but I would still put it in the “new” category. And often, New and Traditional Marketing techniques complement each other to get the job done, from a big picture standpoint.
Some examples of New Marketing:
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Content, Content and More Content
- Webcasts and Webinars
- Online Training
Some examples of Traditional Marketing:
- The Four Ps
- Public Relations
- Product Literature
- Printed Material—Newsletters, Print Ads, Training Programs
- Radio, TV
Customers today are actively getting their information by “talking” to others who may have made the same purchase already. They are performing their due diligence, often online and utilizing new technologies, which will help them in their purchasing decisions.
I use quotation marks when saying that customers are “talking” to others when finding the answers to their questions. However, they are not necessarily physically talking to other people and often, they do not even know the person they are talking to. Your customers and potential customers are often turning to Social Media to have these conversations with other people, in their quest for information.
Social Media is conversational and these “conversations” (and what people are saying about your company, products and brand) often cannot be controlled by companies in business today. Since conversations across various formats—blogs, forums, communities, Twitter, Facebook and others, cannot be controlled by you or your company, it’s the perfect opportunity for companies to participate and be part of the conversation. It’s a new way of thinking for many companies and it is most certainly a new method of marketing for them. And by not participating, you are letting others speak for your company, it’s brand and products.
Right now, I think that content creation is just about the most important marketing activity for mostly every company, large or small. Content, content and more content—you will use it over and over again and all your efforts in content creation will not be for single-use activities. Your content will be used in both new and traditional marketing activities. In the past, content was created only when you had a specific need, such as a brochure. And you used this content specifically for this brochure. Today, you will use this content in many different places—your brochure, in your blog, on Twitter and Facebook, in a YouTube video and more. Your content will also help you and your company be found on the internet.
I came across an article in Ad Age that highlighted Men’s Health Magazine. In this article, the editor of the magazine, Matt Bean, admitted that they blew their first iPhone Apps opportunity. A print magazine is about as traditional media as you can get and it was refreshing to see them understanding their missed opportunity, how missing this opportunity helped their competitors and how they fixed their error. It’s the perfect example of a traditional company understanding the need for and participating in new marketing techniques. And to their credit, they went out and did it.
I’ll say it again. To be strategic, you have to be smart. Doing it the way you have always done it may not be the best plan anymore. Try new things while not abandoning the old ways that work. Let new methods of marketing complement the traditional methods you are currently using. The same goes for using traditional marketing methods, that you know already work for you, as a complement to the new methods you are willing to try. Men’s Health Magazine had to really stretch, do something they never considered before and learn and understand that things are different right now.
Blend the new with the traditional and I think your chances for success increase.