Thursday, April 28, 2011

Is Marketing Dead?

Just as I predicted micropayments are going to revolutionise online content, what I didn’t predict was the politics that would occur. Amazon and PayPal are seeing the possibilities and trying to take their share, with 5c and 5% for each transaction. Interestingly the content providers rather than embracing micropayments they prefer to continue to provide content for free rather than set a precedent. TinyPass and its link to the Huffington Post may shake things up. Let’s see how this plays out.

One question I’d like to throw out is quite controversial for a marketer, “is marketing dead?” The reason that it has been suggested that marketing is dead is because of the growing role of word of mouth. WOM has always been key, I am sure you have spoken to friends and family when looking to make a big decision or to try a new product, or told someone about a great experience. Small business owners rely on their peers; in fact this is their main source of information in buying. With social media, WOM isn’t just over a beer or at a family function, but anytime, day or night. Just as people will be vocal about bad service or a bad product, nowadays it is easy to be positive; that great meal out, a bank that is open when you didn’t think it would be. Of course all your friends and followers tend to trust your opinion more than that the anonymous advertising.

I am not saying advertising is dead, name recognition moving to brand recognition and all the associated attributes will shorten the sales cycle and add even greater believability to WOM. So the new marketing has to focus on the whole end to end experience, not just the product and service and create an environment where WOM is supported. So I don’t think Marketing is dead just evolving and having a greater role in shaping the operational side of the business.