Blog PostIt’s Time for “Old Marketing” Types to Come Over to “New Marketing”

Old Marketing used to just be “marketing,” before there was “new marketing” to serve as a comparison. Old marketing—which includes Yellow Pages adverstising, newspaper advertising, and all forms of broadcast advertising—is still valid for a lot of businesses. And an entire industry (advertising) came into being to support that kind of marketing. But it’s no longer the only game in town.

Since the internet became a place in which people could connect, marketing opportunities have sprung up in that space. As you well know if you’ve opened a browser in the last 5 years, all of the marketing on the internet is not being done well. In fact, some of it is pretty awful. But what would we expect of a medium in which the barriers to entry—in terms of cost and expertise—are so low? Often, it’s marketing by the lowest common denominator for the lowest common denominator.

So of course, the new marketing space is often ridiculed (largely an expression of misunderstanding and fear) by people who make their living in old marketing. Those people need to get over it. The internet is a legitimate marketing space for one reason: that’s where a large part of a lot of companies’ markets are spending their time, rather than reading newspapers or the Yellow Pages or listening to the radio or watching television (all declining industries).

Old marketers have some useful skills that could be put to use on the internet, once they take the time and go to the effort of learning the new rules. Once learned, these rules can be broken for specific reasons. Break the rules without understanding what and why they are, and crashing and burning is the likely outcome (Oh! The humanity!). And, of course, that’s what usually happens when old marketing assumptions are brought to the internet.

The opportunities that exist for companies and old marketing types on the internet exist not only because that’s where people are, but also because it’s not often being done very well. Better concepts, better copy, and better images that communicate better would be raise the bar for online marketing.

But I’m not challenging old marketing types to come over because they’re needed on the internet. Frankly, they’re not.

I’m challenging old marketing types to become knowledgeable, competent, and comfortable with internet marketing because if they’re not, they’re doing their clients a disservice. Presenting clients only with old marketing solutions is a little like being a caddy with only a driver and a wedge in the bag. And it’s also a good way to watch your own market shrink.

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