Is Traditional Marketing Dead or Distorted Beyond Repair



The title might sound provoking, but Digital Marketing and Social Media is definitely on the rise. Some also claim that marketing mediums like TV and Radio are dead. They also say that if companies were to spent on an ad campaign and it wouldn’t even touch the break-even.

Today, with highly planned and targeted social media campaigns you can generate more Leads, Buzz and Sales with a fraction of cost.

Take a look at these campaigns, Old Spice, Kolaveri D. There are many more.


Blame the technoholic Gen -Y consumers (generally born between 1980-1990s). They love interactions, don’t like to be convinced, used to posting everything on social media websites (even if they sneeze) and not used to watching TV much. All these bring us to our topic of discussion- “Is Traditional Marketing Dead, dying or distorted beyond repair.

Bill Lee in his article on Harvard Business Review claims that Marketing is Dead. He says,  buyers no longer pay attention. In today’s increasingly social media-infused environment, traditional marketing is a broken model and organizations may not realize they’re operating within a dead paradigm.

Today’s market is tough, so is marketing, no doubt it always was. Barter system was an ancient way of trading where people used to bring their goods to an open market was also a form of advertising cum marketing.

The challenge is to Adopt and Adapt. Not to discard the existing knowledge and practices.


Dead or not, only time will prove

I would say that Marketing is evolutionary, not dead. It has evolved like never before. If you think buyers are not paying attention. Trust me, they never did. You have to rethink your marketing mix. Its all about story-telling and connecting well with your customers in this Over-crowded Noisy environment.

Marketing is a catalyst to sales, a sales enabler and it always will be. “Peer group” and “Word of Mouth” has been there much before Facebook or any online social media born. Technology is the Game Changer. As the world evolves, technology advances, marketing keeps changing. The objective is to customize; Old hard selling and “better mousetrap” theory does not work anymore.

Social media is just a marketing medium, a marketing tool, which will be replaced by something else in the near future.

Human nature will never change in a million years. The idea of Touch & Feel will always be there. Selling was never easy and there is no “secret sauce” to this. You need to keep evolving with the buyer behaviour and their preferences.

Only digital marketing might work for some companies. Many companies today use a Hybrid model and have merged traditional with digital, keep the old foundations and add new systems. Its tough to say what works when and where. But the idea is to draw a buyer’s attention and understand what dominates human action driving him to compulsion.

What’s happening today on social media is “Self Branding” & “Search Satisfaction.” We all simply stop looking for better answers once we find answers we like.

Have a look at profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn, or Twitter where people keep re-tweeting the same stuff in different ways. If adjusting prices in recession can effect a brand, I don’t know how investing a major chunk in social media marketing can help. However, if you believe in social media and its importance, you are going to sell.


Wrapping it Up

ObamaMarketing today doesn’t play by the same rules. The way consumers Seek & Receive information has changed. Other factors like brands, pricing, packaging, quality and thousand of others hasn’t really changed at all.

Social and digitized media is a Vehicle for Further Engagement with your consumers. Think how Barack Obama used this medium to brand himself during elections.
With social media, Personal-Branding today is at its peak. [Case Study: The Viral Blog ]

The real purchase is always measured in terms of repeat purchase. More consumers today are researching and purchasing online. Even after this a final decision is often made from word-of-mouth or by an in store sales-person.

Engagement is important, but with your Brand and not with Social media websites. You need to Turn Why into Why not?

Just because customers have social media accounts does not mean that they are all heavily engaged with your brand.

Many companies are reconsidering and withdrawing from Social media as they are unsure of the benefits and leave themselves open to unfettered criticism. With Social Media, everything is in the public domain, which is well outside of the companies’ comfort zones. @ Forbes

Social media is an Uncontrolled Virtual Space, which may bring negative results more quickly than the positive ones. If a product or service can meet the unmet needs of a customer, it will sell, irrespective of the company’s presence in the social sphere.

In addition, there is a large difference between B2B & B2C marketing buying processes and we need to understand the dynamics their purchases before they move to a purchase decision, its vastly different.

In my opinion, marketing will change, distort and evolve strategically with technology & tools available, but we constantly need to check back the foundations of marketing, segmentation, PLC, and other traditional concepts. The challenge is to adapt, not to discard, existing knowledge and practice.

Remember, we still have to Solve people’s problems.

Huge advancements in technology, channel fragmentation and a changing Consumer Mindset have left us with the possibility to create lasting impressions. Social media can be used as an augmented sales process. There is a need to incorporate technology with the humans.

Comparing social media with marketing is like comparing the loudspeaker with composing the music.Only superficial things have changed, saying marketing is dead is just foolish.

What do you think?
Is traditional marketing really dead? Its your time to voice your opinion. Share you views and suggestions.



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By Vinit

Masters in Business Management he currently works as a marketer and a strategic planner. Loves to travel and write about technology, business trends and the ever changing world. He is effortlessly funny and consistently engaging.

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3 comments on “Is Traditional Marketing Dead or Distorted Beyond Repair
  1. Good thought! Not Consumption but Customization should be the objective. The efficient and smart marketer today will understand what must be done in order to market their product.