Relying solely on traditional marketing approaches would not help a business in today’s world. To explain rise of integrated marketing stratygies, Dr Prem – a world renowned marketing experts recenly spoke in international marketing conference. “In order to remain competitive and profitable, the business would need to ditch these traditional approaches and opt for integrated marketing options that would take its products/services closer to the customer than ever before.” – Dr Prem.
Gone are the days when interruption marketing was considered a mass marketing tool. Consumers nowadays are pressed for time and want to be heard before getting suggestions from a marketer. Anyone who thus interrupts in between would not only end up not selling anything, but wasting the precious time of a customer who would probably shift base to another product or service after this.
This example goes to show that traditional marketing approaches have no relevance for the current generation anymore. Even marketing has taken a back seat and, along with approaches like advertising, branding, corporate communications and public relations, is considered a dead paradigm in today’s internet dependent world.
So how did this transition occur? And what exactly led to the eventual death of the traditional marketing methods? A close examination of the history of traditional marketing would give us a clear picture.
History of Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing approaches made headway back in 1450 with the invention of the printing press, which made advertising possible. Fast forward to the early 1600s and we had business cards rolling out to spread the word about a specific product or brand. The first American magazine was published in 1741, leading to the birth of magazine adverts. Then in 1835, the first ever email campaign was started by The Society, an anti-slavery group. This paved the way for the more famous email marketing approaches we see to this day.
Fast forward a little to 1839 when the first ad posters started appearing in London. They actually became such a nuisance that they were banned from the country altogether. In 1867, the first billboards were set up near busy highways and intersections to catch the attention of passersby.
The term ‘marketing’ become to be known in textbooks by 1900. Then the radio adverts started popping up by 1922. These were followed by television advertisements, with the first one being made for the Bulova Watch Company in 1941.
The concept of telemarketing was to follow next, making headlines and creating ripples in the industry after being launched in the 1970s, which was followed by the boom in the mobile market that led to SMS adverts in 1992. The period between 1995 and 2000 saw the birth of numerous search engines along with the introduction of online blogging. Then 2003-2004 saw the launch of the social media giants like Facebook and LinkedIn, which revolutionized the marketing industry.
By 2007, push notifications had started arriving on Smartphones to allow users to get connected to online markets instantly. Thus, by 2013, the marketing industry had witnessed a sea change in terms of the way advertisements are conceived and conceptualized. It also witnessed the change in the way consumers prefer to shop or view ads over the years. Trade experts have in fact predicted that 2014 would be the year for inbound and personalized marketing.
Effect of technology on everyday life
Gaining a basic understanding of how technology has and continues to influence our daily lives would also help us understand the reason for the death of traditional marketing approaches.
The internet has replaced physical communication options like letters, phone calls and personal visits with cheaper and easier virtual options available via PCs and Smartphones. Considering nearly every other individual out there has a Smartphone, it goes to show how individuals today prefer to get connected with whomever they want, whenever they want.
Going to the library to read books is something of the past. Most individuals prefer to read the same books in virtual libraries, or opt to buy e-books via the internet. The classic book has also been replaced by Smartphones, tablets and even e-readers to read these books; thereby, making it easier for us to carry as many books as we want and wherever we go without necessarily breaking our backs.
People do not consider newspapers a sale-able commodity anymore. Most individuals have turned towards online news websites to get the latest news on a real time basis, and that too free of cost.
Even the photos we take have undergone a sea change. People opt for digital cameras over the traditional ones that use camera rolls. Photos are also stored in cloud databases rather than albums and photo frames, thus making it easier for individuals to share them with anybody they want anywhere in the world.
Consider the television and radio options we have today. Instead of sticking with the programs available on TV, we get to decide what we want to see and pay for the same as well. Instead of opting for audio cassettes and CDs, we use compact MP3 players that can store thousands of our favorite songs and can be taken anywhere owing to their portability.
Even file sharing methods have changed drastically. Databases and cloud computing have replaced traditional, space consuming file cabinets while emails and SMSs allow us to share information with others instantly.
These, as well as many other similar examples reveal how our lives have changed after the advent of the internet. It is therefore, no hidden secret that the internet is also the driving force behind many revolutions today. Take for example the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran, the Arab Uprising and the Euromaidan Pro-Western Protest in Ukraine, all of which used the internet to gather mass support.
All these factors together, indicate how technology directly influences the way we perceive the world and its people today. So are you still wondering as to why your business is hardly making any money today although it was quite successful in the past? Here are some facts that would shed some light on your questions.
As of 2014, studies have reported that the number of internet users worldwide has soared to 2.7 billion while the number of mobile phone users has increased to a whopping 6.8 billion. The number of broadband subscriptions has also increased to 2.1 billion. This indicates that nearly 35% of the world population uses the internet on a daily basis with almost 17% of the global internet traffic being generated by mobile users.
As of 2014, over 91% of the people on earth have a mobile phone while 56% of them use Smartphones. Among these, over 1.2 billion mobile users access the internet from the phones, with nearly 50% of them using mobile devices as their primary internet source. These users also spend 80% of their time downloading and running apps while nearly 70% of these users use mobile phones for online shopping.
A few more statistics reveal that over the years, mobile web adoption has grown faster than web adoption, with nearly 91% of mobile users using the internet on their devices for social activities and over 29% of these users using their devices to open emails and advertisements (when compared to just 10% of tablet and desktop users).
Social Media Marketing
The usage of social media for marketing purposes has also increased over the past few years. This has to do with the statistics that reveal that nearly 72% of internet users worldwide are active on social media networks. And with nearly 25% of markets investing in arenas like social media and blogging, it doesn’t come as a surprise to note that the social media is able to generate nearly double the marketing leads of telemarketing, emails, trade shows and other traditional marketing approaches.
Emerging Business Trends Considered Too Risky To Ignore
Considering all these factors, it is imperative for a company to redo its marketing strategy in order to accommodate these newer arenas and give equal important to them in order to sustain in modern, competitive market. Accordingly, here are some business trends that are deemed too risky to be ignored today.
The consumer no longer wants to listen, but rather, wants to see and read about the product themselves. Most consumers are also opting for ‘Do Not Call Listings’ to block telemarketing calls.
No one believes in poster advertisements anymore. Customers want to see the real thing and reap their benefits, instead of a model displaying it in a seemingly photo-shopped advert. Television ads are their relevance, with customers opting to mute them or skip them entirely when watching TV.
Customers today mainly focus and empower to choose what they want only after seeing it, hearing about it and sharing opinions about it with friends, colleagues and family members. When compared to advertisements, customers show more interest in online reviews and recommendations. They check about products they are interested in, read reviews about these products on online forums and ask about quite a bit before actually buying them.
Hope you are getting the picture now. Let us sum up by saying that the exponential growth of technology with lesser adoption times has made everything to be available on multiple platforms, connected intelligently and personalized in a real time basis. So today’s marketing approaches are more about handing over the controls to the customer and personalizing product values rather than interrupting and stuffing biased opinions on them. Businesses that realize this and act accordingly would surely be able to remain ahead of the others in the competitive race in these changing times.
People no longer consider traditional marketing approaches effective enough to run a business, thanks to the changing mindsets of customers, which in turn is driven by technological advancements and the internet. While technology has changed the way we lead our lives today, the internet has changed the way we see and perceive things.