It seems that anytime there is a new innovation or new technique in the marketing or advertising world, it is revolutionary, creates massive results, and everyone starts to ask: “has the time of the old ways passed?”
Today, the buzz question is whether or not traditional advertising is dead?
But it simply isn't the right question to ask.
The nature of the question is that ‘traditional’ implies ‘old’. Phrased differently, do the old ways still work best? It is important to understand that there are methods and themes that will always apply regardless of the technology we use; however, the world is ever changing, so logically the answer will always be no.
The old ways of marketing will not work as well as they once did.
That’s not to say they are completely ineffective. There is still merit to print and established channels of advertising, but the effectiveness of those mediums has dwindled drastically.
Not every new business has a need to communicate with direct mail – but make no mistake, you can easily judge for yourself by the volume of advertising in your mailbox that there is still value in that medium for some businesses.
The old marketing channels are only useful for a business that is best served by broadcasting ads from newspapers and local radio. Yet, the needs of most businesses are best served from targeting their marketing efforts towards a qualified audience of potential sales leads.
The tools we use to communicate are constantly changing and it is important to understand how.
The companies that are searching for a quick and easy answer to their marketing challenges are searching for the perfect, one, quick and easy solution – the ‘magic key’ on how to promote themselves in the current market place.
In reality, every business and every set of potential clients is different.
But how often do you hear someone say ‘this is what we have done, and this is the way we will always do it.’ It may seem like the safer option, although it does inherently carry the risk that your company may lose their competitive advantage.
Remaining 100% committed to the old ways is not the way to make your business remarkable. You can lament in ‘the good ‘ol days’ or you can adapt to the times quickly and grow your business.
“Bring the traditional qualities of trust, honesty, and real knowledge back into business. Cultivate the new digital tools to craft meaningful conversations that will help build a long-lasting history with your customers.”
– Derek, Flawless Inbound
Henry Ford will always be a great example of how to succeed in business. We know he was famous for introducing the moving assembly line, bringing the cost of producing a vehicle down, and providing the first affordable vehicles to the general public. And while he was rewarded with success and fame for his ingenuity, today the Ford Motor Company is not the dominant force in the auto industry.
The company lost the pioneering spirit that pushed them to the top of the automobile in their early days.
It is important to understand that the world truly is changing.
Failure to adapt: Ford has a famous saying, “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.” Which is cute, and we all have a little chuckle about it. Henry Ford created the Model T, which revolutionized the auto industry, and he was sticking to his guns. As vehicles became more readily available, Chevrolet was gaining market share by offering options rather than one single product. Still, Henry was stubborn and refused to change. In a relatively short period of time Chevrolet surpassed Ford as the leading automaker in America and Ford was forced to catch-up.
We can learn a lot from history.
Again the question is not: “Is traditional marketing dead?”
The relevant question in the current information age is: “How do my customers consume information?”
While some old knowledge remains unchanged, make no mistake: today online content is how most people will learn about your business.
New social media tools don’t need to be complicated. At its most basic level, social media is the societal equivalent of meeting your friends for coffee and exchanging ideas about the services that make your life better.
Your business can always learn to adapt and communicate effectively. The tools we use to communicate are constantly evolving, and we can verify that the inbound marketing method is currently the most effective way of marketing to increase your return on investment.
Remember, good sales leads don’t come from good luck.