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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes

In the old days, what I mean by that is pre-internet, we had a different why that we bought things (and we marketed and sold differently) didn’t we?

First there was Advertising.  As we didn’t have the connected economy, the only way people would find out about your products and services, would be you told them.  Invented in the 1930s, the way it worked was simple, the more money you pumped into advertising the more you sold.

Then there was Letters and Emails.  When I started work, we wrote letters and the way you got people to know about your products and services was by sending them letters, or mail shots as we called them.  You took a standard letter and once you got the hang of mail-merge you could send a lot of them. 

Then there was email. It wasn’t really until AOL came along that everybody got an email address, but when they did you could stop sending letters and fire off emails and save the cost of the stamp.

Fast forward to technical modern age of 2018, we have iPhones, the internet, we’re even been to the moon and just look at what we have in our armoury in terms of this amazing thing called “digital marketing”.

There is advertising.  As marketers we can broadcast to as many people as we want, telling them about or products and services. We have emails.  Sorry it’s called Marketing Automation or Martech, which enables us to fire more emails at people than we ever dreamed of.

One great advancement is Employee Advocacy, which enables companies to use employees to share the content that has been created.

But hold on, compare and contrast, the old days vs digital marketing.

So when I was sitting in an office the other day and I was told “we are going all-in on digital marketing”, I wondered if anything had changed.  The strategy is the same.  We will tell as many people as we can about our product and services, because if we throw enough mud at the wall, some of it will stick.

The advancement that digital marketing gives us, is that we can throw more of it!

There is a problem with this and as a consumer, we have total fatigue at people and their sales pitches.

  1. We don’t like being sold to.
  2. Every product is the best, and the pitches just become noise
  3. As a buyer I am now in control, I don’t read your emails, I can block you and I can use ad blockers
  4. We don’t believe what your employees say, because they work there.

I know this all seems like doom and gloom and it is! Why would you spend a whole load of money to do what you did before? There is some good news though.  Something that stands out and it’s been sent to save us all, Social Media.

If you asked me to come up with my idea “sell to” platform, I would ask for.

A place were the vast majority of the world spend time.  A place free for the consumer to hang out.  Make it easy for them to access, via mobile phone for example.  Rid it of gatekeepers so I can contact the people directly.  A place where I can interact, talk to customers.  Enable me to educate and provide insight to customers so they buy more.  Create a place where I can build a community and get referrals.  Better still have a place where people come to me and ask if they can buy.  Sounds to good to be true?  There is a place.  It’s called social media.  Maybe it’s time to drop or leap frog digital marketing and look at the current way to market.

I agree, changing your marketing strategy from push to pul will be hard work, but surely you have had enough of the old days?

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