Marketing: Traditional or Social Media?

Macro Marketing

Kool-Aid or Cappuccino?

New vs. Traditional Media?” Is that even the right question?

… And the Marketing Micro Trends

I’m not sure which changes quicker; trends in food, fashion or marketing?

Debates rage on the merits of natural versus genetically modified foods. Are we moving towards South American or Middle Eastern cuisine? We diffract between local, organic and artisan. Really? Does anyone care beyond food consultants, critics and connoisseurs?

Similarly, over-active, hyper-caffeinated marketing mystics are quick to proffer their latest philosophical pronouncement on what’s in, what’s out, what’s dead and what’s not. And the new hot thing … the marketing dish de jour.

It’s reflected in the Q&A at many of my talks. I’ve lost count of how many times I hear: “What’s your opinion of traditional marketing versus new media or social media marketing?

Is that even the right question? There are certainly micro trends within a category of marketing ingredients.

Three examples of a marketing micro trend within a category:

  • MySpace, launched in 2003, peaked in 2008 with about 100 million users. It declined with the ascendancy of Facebook, which reached one billion accounts on October 4, 2012.
  • Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 saw an unusual decline in TV viewership in America with “only” 108.4 million people watching.  However, social media posts reached 47.7 million, up from 17 million during last year’s Super Bowl and 3 million in 2010.
  • By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth.

These micro trends can’t be ignored. The trends impact social media marketing, mass marketing and mobile marketing respectively.

So be careful when consuming the latest “Kool-aid”, it may be wiser to sip the cappuccino … to sharpen your senses and safeguard your sensibilities.

Just as trends fluctuate in food and fashion, some things are here to stay. At a macro level, many marketing ingredients in traditional media will remain, but change.

As long as we have roads, we will have billboards. They are transforming from static ads to dynamic screens; and in the future, perhaps even personal, (remember the movie Minority Report?).

Traditional media advertising is becoming more interactive with QR codes.

Direct mail’s effectiveness is boosted with the integration of other ingredients: personalized URLs, video, and interactive user-driven dynamic content.

Traditional media will renew, and new media will evolve. Think of them as categories of ingredients. And the individual ingredients from new and traditional media can not only just co-exist, but also when effectively blended together will mutually reinforce each other.

Evaluate each ingredient for its individual strategic attributes, its additive merit, and potential micro trends.

A simple illustration. If you’re using social media You, like and I have probably made some new friends through social media, but I also look forward to meeting many of them face-to-face. Very “traditional”  … don’t you think?



What’s my prediction for the future? Just as molecular gastronomy was in vogue in 2010 and then pronounced to be in decline in 2012, I predict the next big trend will be “molecular marketing.” Oops, that already came and went … bet you didn’t notice that did you? J



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