R.I.P. Traditional Marketing

Although I am not a marketing expert, I am lucky to enjoy the daily company of one. One who is looking for a job in this field. Having experience in India, which is a largely conservative market when it comes to Marketing and Advertising, being introduced to Marketing UK-Style has come as quite a shock. I, however am much more at home because what is considered Marketing here, I used to try and sell to small time business owners in India; online presence.

We have looked through hundreds of vacancies, reading job profiles and descriptions and one word particularly shows through; “online”.

Marketing Executives/Managers/Assistants/etc all seem to do just one thing: Online marketing; newsletters, company websites, SEO, PPC/PPV (Pay Per Click/ Pay Per View) advertising. There simply is no mention of anything else; except in the rarest of cases where you may find something about presentations and copywriting for flyers (secondary to the company newsletter of course!)

Marketing in the traditional sense seems to have died. Right now my husband works in a huge company, in Sales. And they seem to put little or no effort at all into Marketing. They simply survive on their brand name and make sure their website/newsletter is up-to-date. This is a luxury and definitely makes you lazy! And it’s not just the big time corporates following this path either! If you spend some time browsing around Forums dedicated to small business owners, all they can think of nowadays is getting their website up and advertising it online, or getting on the first page of Google search results. How crazy is it that people get so caught up in the whole online aspect of things, that more experienced businesspeople have to come up to them and say “you know, you could get flyers printed as well, they can be quite effective, if not more than an online ad campaign!” As if it’s a revolutionary idea!

Sure, globalisation made the world quite a small place. But this total contrast in how we try to advertise ourselves in the Western world and anywhere else is shocking to me. Sure, in India online presence as well as access is much more limited than in the West where people do their shopping online even. So there it becomes difficult to convince a Bricks&Mortar business owner who is not PC literate, to even consider getting the most basic website for his business. But do we tend to forget that perhaps our parents’ or grandparents’ generation might not necessarily know how to switch on a PC either, let alone see an online banner advert for your business?

Do we want to lose the business of people who are suspicious of online ads, simply because there have been reports of online scams? A flyer, brochure or business card, reaching your potential customer may just make your business name stand out a little extra. Or they may give it to someone who needs your products/services.

Or do we want to use online marketing the way it should be used; as a valuable part of your Marketing strategy, which should not be ignored, but also not seen as the only option.

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2 Comments »

  1. odzer Said:

    I guess it depends on the amount of human resources available to the companies and how much they want to spend on their development. I have noticed when I deal with western clients that companies there seem to be more focussed on online marketing and newsletters mainly because its a low cost and low labour intensive work. Companies who are in to traditional brick and mortar businesses, especially FMCG etc have to do more intensive traditional marketing in India due to lack of supermarkets, in the west the supermarket displays act as a very good marketing tool. In India you have to generate brand consciousness so that the customer actually walks up to the shop and asks for it.

  2. hedonist666 Said:

    Although you make a valid point, I would still think a lot of this phenomena is caused by the fact that people have simply forgotten about the effectiveness of offline marketing. If you’re talking about big companies with their own in house web development/marketing team, then yes it is cheaper to focus on online marketing opportunities. However, increasingly small companies are doing this as well, who then have to hire freelancers or web development/marketing companies to do the work for them which is hugely expensive.

    It just seems the balance has shifted completely as opposed to what was being done only a few years ago.


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