TV changed a lot about marketing. In the 1950s it became the way to communicate with the masses. You had three maybe four channels in a market (not including public television, which was commercial free), with a variety of local and national programming. Marketers took to the airwaves like flies to honey. They could target their messages during specific shows that attracted certain demographics; Soap Operas for the stay at home moms, I Love Lucy and the Andy Griffith show for families. What about Perry Mason, The Original Star Trek, or the Twilight Zone?
Great times, when you could push your message out to the masses and have a great deal of reach with a small amount of frequency. It was the age of “one to many” communications.
Then the masses wanted more.
Enter Cable TV
Now there are hundreds of channels to choose from with specific audiences, much smaller than in years past. Still the fragmentation has meant that you could possibly target your message better, but reach is much smaller and you have to increase frequency in order to rise above all the other commercials. In the Golden age of TV there was about 10 minutes of commercials per hour show. Today there is about 20 minutes per hour. Almost double what it used to be. And the cost of placing a TV commercial has certainly not gone down with the decreased audience size. Nor is the production cost any less with the advent of digital equipment and computer editing.
The Market has also adapted with the changes in television. But it does not make any difference if it is TV, radio, newspaper, direct mail, etc. All the traditional forms of advertising have taken a hit as the market is now taking more control over how they wish to receive your message. Traditional outbound marketing is just not as effective as it once was even if you increase the dollars invested in it.
Here’s a little factoid from the “Convergence Consulting Group’s” industry research reports of 2010 and 2011. In the April 2010 report, the CCG reported that between 2008 and 2009 alone, 550,000 households cut the cord to cable and satellite TV, opting to get their news and entertainment through other means, primarily the internet. In 2010, another 1 million households did the same. Now with an overall TV market size of 100 million households, that represent a small percentage, but the trend is accelerating. People are getting their news through online channels and RSS feeds; entertainment via channels like Hulu or Netflix.
Newspapers are seeing circulations shrink, as are magazines. People are tired of direct mail. The overall impact is your marketing dollars in traditional forms of marketing just do not reach the consumer or prospects as easily as they once did.
People still use these traditional channels, but less and less and in other ways. The consumer and businesses have changed how they make purchase decisions or solve business problems. Enter the age of Inbound Marketing.
So now everyone seems to be jumping on the social media bandwagon. Social media is where there are many-to-many conversations taking place. This is a radical departure from the past where you could push your message to the masses. Now the masses are in control and you need to be ready to engage in the conversations. That does take time, and few marketing dollars, but the conversations are worth participating in.
Years ago, you weren’t anything unless you had a web site and now it seems your company is nothing unless it has a Facebook page. Just like in the Web 1.0 world, simply putting up a web site without a strategy, purpose of goal in mind, it is the same today that you should not engage in social media unless you have a plan and a goal in mind.
Stuck in the Past
Trouble is I know there are companies that are not adopting social media or implementing inbound marketing tactics as they just do not want their “sales team to rely upon the new tactics.” I can see their logic, but that logic is flawed. Your market has changed how their operate, don’t you think your marketing strategies and tactics should change too? Are you still stuck in the past thinking that nothing has changed and the only way to reach your prospect is to use tools that were successful 20-30 years ago?
Keeping some of what works (i.e., traditional marketing) is fine, but adding the new channels of communication to increase your market presence, will pay off in more leads into the pipeline, greater brand recognition, improved customer service, SME status (subject matter expert) and overall…more business.