marketing is dead...

...or at least the old world of marketing is dead. This was the main theme of Seth Godin's recent webinar that I attended. From before the "Mad Men" days up until now, advertisers' bread n' butter relied on interrupting people's time. Buy up TV commercial time, radio spots and print adspace and expect a majority of people to pay attention. Now, media has been fragmented into a billion outlets (hundreds of tv channels and millions of websites) making it impossible to interrupt people's time. Moreover, people don't want their time interrupted. Godin draws parallels to the industrial revolution - in this case, power has shifted to the consumer via technology. They have the power in controlling their own media programming. Less and less people are going to find your Time magazine ad or watch your prime time tv commercial. Want to bombard people with email ads? Spam filters are everyone's best friend. Direct mass marketing is not what it used to be.

So how do you connect with consumers? Godin presents an analogy with finding a mate. You can go to a bar and ask someone to marry you...and if you get rejected, you keep asking people until one person finally says yes. Or you can ask someone on a date, develop an intimate relationship and eventually move towards marriage. This points to his theory that marketers need to develop a more intimate, personable and interactive relationship with consumers who are craving authenticity. Some of this points to social networking but its more about developing stategies to target a variety of markets and bringing them to your site. Create a forum of social discussion about your brand and product line. Capitalize on the fact that people are consumed with web interaction. A premium is placed in the actual product rather than creating a "story" about a product. Yelling offers in their face is akin to yelling at a wall.


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