The last few years has brought great changes to the way we approach business and marketing is no exception: there’s a new way to approach understanding and reaching out to customers over the Internet. The problem with marketing right now is that there is a divide between two camps: the traditional marketers and the new marketers. I see this all the time with both marketing organizations and companies alike. They are either all for tried and tested marketing techniques or all for Internet approaches with very little in between. This is forging a divide in the marketing community. I notice that the new marketers are very derisive of the old way and traditional marketers frequently ignore (or perhaps are oblivious or afraid of new ways to market).
I find all this very amusing. Here at Out-Smarts we recognize that, to be effective in reaching your audience you should use all appropriate tools available. Old and new marketing approaches are simply tools that can be used to market effectively and they should always be used in conjunction with each other if you want to have maximum impact.
Using the Internet to market is a logical way to reach more people, after all over 70% of North Americans use it, but in order to do so you must understand the vital principles of traditional marketing (4Ps or 6Cs of the marketing mix). Understand who your audience is (age, location, gender and so on), what need or pain your offering fulfills and what its worth to them. Know where your audience hangs out on the Internet and what technologies they use, understand how they want to be communicated to and which messages/mediums will be effective (and which will totally put them off – most important in the new way).
To be effective in marketing these days its no use simply adopting traditional techniques, (perhaps because you don’t understand new technologies or you mistakenly think your audience isn’t online – I’ve heard that one more than once!) if you do you are ignoring a massive chunk of your potential market. If you don’t understand these new technologies and approaches then find someone who does and add them to your team. Nor is it good enough to simply market in the virtual world and ignore older methods. What works best is a mix of the two. How you mix them will depend (off course) on your customer. Understanding your customer should always come first in any marketing endeavor but you have to embrace all methodologies and do it now before the competition gains traction and beats you to it.