Drums….ta ta ta ta…..I noticed a trend lately, which as a marketing know-how and as a normal human, amuses me to death! Seriously!
I was really planning on getting back to channel marketing , but I found myself thinking about this latest trend named ONLINE.
And I will explain….a few years back when internet was a luxury and not as it is today a commodity – saying online meant you were part of the latest trends, cutting edge technologies, etc. Since then and when looking today it’s obvious, it’s here and there, it’s just everywhere, we practically live in an online world. It’s just impossible to avoid it.
To elaborate on my point, here is a short story. A few days ago, a friend of mine which has over 15 years of experience in marketing, business development, has handled large budgets successfully and managed quite a few people, called me up with an urgent request. “Anat, since you have been in the online industry for a while now, can you please explain to me what exactly does it mean, what is it made of? And teach me online marketing strategies”. She needed it as she was asked to consult a friend on how to market online for a new start-up.
Well, she is my friend, so I spared a few minutes.
We spoke about email marketing, SEO, PPC, SMM, viral marketing, search, webinars, podcast and all that comes under “online” – the list is long. There are new ideas how to market online day in, day out, but all these are “useless” without the basics – without all the strategic work of understanding the product, the target audience, analyzing competition, positioning, messaging….
I have grown in marketing, have spent long hours with vendors, clients, partners channel here and abroad, read, analyzed, listened – and the only thing that comes to my mind is what a trend this is (balloon!) – have you noticed that everything has gone online and I mean everything!
Suddenly offline or anything which is not online sounds like a curse, sounds old – it’s like in fashion, either you’re “in” or “out” – just last year the trend in shoes was flat/no heels and this year it’s all about 10 cm heels. Flat – out, heels in. By the way, there is no need to say offline, on the contrary online is mentioned everywhere. But, isn’t it obvious!
My thought are that unless we are talking about a media company/digital advertising company the deep knowledge of CPA/CPM/CPC/media buying, search, etc. – is not information that any marketer needs beyond knowing what it means. But, surprise surprise, these requirements appear everywhere. Suddenly all marketers need to be experts no less in all the bits and bytes of the online industry.
Here is an example and a test for the readers, I get updates from various marketing networking groups that I am part of. There are usually quite a few employment offerings in those. Have you noticed that “online” has been added to all job openings – online marketing manager, online sales manager, VP of Online Marketing, Online program Management – suddenly everyone needs to be an expert in SEO, PPC, CPC, CPA, CPM, twitter, Facebook, tumblr, LinkedIn and various other abbreviations. Have you ever seen “seeking an offline marketing manager”? – Nope…because it’s obvious!
When marketing online – there are still people on the other side, humans – two eyes, one nose, a mouth etc. and they/I want to understand how the product or service can make their/my life easier – for that “old” marketing – or should I call it offline marketing does a great job.
Just to make my point clear – considering we are all living in this very online world – isn’t it quite obvious that us marketers are aware of the new trends – isn’t it obvious that even when marketing through the online channels – you still need to work the strategy, positioning, messaging of what you are selling? Online and its’ friends are in the tactics!
If you have the right messaging, have a great and short elevator pitch – it would be a piece of cake going online – it would be a piece of cake to write 140 characters in twitter.
Unless we plan on having machines delivering the marketing basics, brain storming and so on – marketing is still needed, brainstorming in a room full of people and a plate with stale pastries cannot be replaced.
Just think of all of the examples below and get my point:
- In – good; out – not so good
- Turn On – hmmm – sounds good; turn-off L
- In-line – great; out of line – hmmm not so much!!
- Off-guard, on-guard!
Offline – online!!!
It’s not all black or white but let’s not forget the basics! lets not forget it always has to be a combination, one that complements the other!
We are all online, all day, we are all customers, users of products and services! Online has become second nature!
Wax on works only with wax off (Karate Kid!), same goes for offline and online marketing! Well, at least this is how I see it!
And just for the fun, go to 1.42 minutes on this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PycZtfns_U