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Friday, April 13, 2012

Has Social Taken the Magic out of Marketing?

This past week I watched the season premier of Mad Men. I've been waiting a long time for its return. My fascination with the show is partly due to the smart writing and partly due to the historical depiction (accurate or not) of an era long gone.

Today's advertising people can no more imagine hand-drawn story boards than I can not including social media in a marketing plan. Sadly, things will never revert back that way either.

Advertising and marketing used to be hand and hand; the more creative types went ad agency and the rest of us became marketers. There was a certain amount of magic to what we were doing, trickery if you must. We were convincing people to buy products and services in any way we could. Nowadays, word of mouth has become more valuable than slogans and campaigns and CEOs want to see the analytics behind our efforts. Marketing has become the annoying tag-a-long sibling of sales. A lot of marketers have lost their way and they might as well hang out in the doghouse with the ineffectual journalists.

But for those of us willing to have conversations with our customers (instead of using our old marketing bullhorn); for the bravest of us who are willing to continually be in flux and pursuing new opportunities and learning new things, it can be a very exciting time to be in marketing. It seems infinitely harder in some ways with the analytics and the drip campaigns, the conversations and transparency required. But in many ways, we have it easier too. We can communicate with our customers and potential customers. No more focus groups and what if situations. There's legitimate A/B testing that can help you decide which is the more effective campaign. If you're willing to learn the tools and how to use them,

What do you think? Do you miss the old days of smoke and mirrors or are you happy to embrace this new social cosmos? 

2 comments:

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  2. Enjoyed the post.

    I don't watch much TV-hardly any in fact. I did watch an Atlanta Braves game this weekend, and was surprised to see a man sitting on the toilet in a commercial. Didn't realize things had gone quite that far.

    I don't think of myself as a prude, but I turned off the TV.

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