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Idea: Don’t Rein In New Marketing Opportunities
With an Old Marketing Strategy

Way back before the internet browser was created (the year current college seniors were born), marketers were dependent on print and broadcast media companies to communicate with customers. Getting their message into channels controlled by such companies consisted of a strategy using two tactics: paid media (advertising) and earned media (public relations).

As you know, a lot has changed since today’s college seniors were born. Many of those old media companies are gone, or are shells of their former selves. Why? Because marketers want to reach customers directly, right?

Ironically, rather than creating content for customers, many marketers invest more heavily in creating content for Google algorithms (a new version of earned media called search engine optimization, or SEO). And rather than developing media designed specifically for their customers, marketers are using more and more of their advertising budgets to help companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter build new media conglomerates whose goals are to control the communications channels to the marketers’ customers.

What should marketers do? As a marketer, you should be focused first and foremost on developing media and content that serve your customers, that add value to your products by helping fulfill the promise made when the customer purchased them. Everything else, all the social media and SEO investment, should be viewed as support for the only media you own and control: the content that connects you directly to your customer.

Are we suggesting that social media and SEO aren’t good? No. We believe they are tools that any savvy marketer should use. However, when your online marketing efforts consist primarily of using platforms and channels owned by others with paid (advertising) or earned (social media marketing, SEO) approaches, it’s the same old marketing strategy.

Bottom line for marketers: Applying a new shade of lipstick on an old marketing strategy doesn’t create a new marketing strategy. Creating your own direct-to-customer media is the revolutionary marketing strategy the internet enables.

(Photo: Forsaken Fotos via Flickr [CC BY 2.0])

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