The Death of Marketing

February 13, 2016

Marketing is dying. And it will soon be dead if urgent action isn’t taken by the marketer themselves.

If death does come, in what form will that be?

I’m sure most people will agree that marketing is first and foremost a strategic process – no matter what definition you subscribe to, it must involve an understanding of customer, of self, of competition. It must involve a strategic decision of what game you are playing, in what position, and in what markets.

And yet, there seems to be a dearth of discussion about strategy.

The volume of chatter worldwide on blogs, social media, in conferences, and around marketing work in progress meetings is heavily weighted towards tactics.

What social media platform should we be on, how should we engage with customers on our website, where do we want to ensure our brand is seen?

And from this chatter, and noise, the marketers attention is being drawn further and further away from the skills they have to have in order to survive – skills in strategy.

A great marketer needs to be able to play a chess game several moves ahead of the competition, they create opportunities – they create and strengthen demand for their product and service. They measure the return on investment in marketing.

I’m not saying there aren’t great marketers out there. There are superstars.

But these superstars are not all working for the big name brands, and the big name brands don’t necessarily drive the engine rooms of our economies.

Most developed economies actually rely on the small to medium enterprise. The bulk of employment, the bulk of GDP comes from the millions of small, local organisations – collectively they are more important to our economy.

The bulk of marketing work is being done by the marketer who’ll never get their name in the paper, who may never work on a brand with a million dollar TV budget.

This is a call to all those unseen heroes – the professional marketer in the local business – to build your skills in strategy – don’t get caught like a deer in the shiny lights of social media, apps, or other tactics – make a plan, understand your customer, know your niche, THEN choose your channels and measure measure measure – don’t work the other way round letting tactics drive your strategy.

Technology is very likely to make a tactical focus irrelevant and of low value – as a professional marketer of the future – your value is going be in the decision making process of where and when you communicate – and the ability to prove what you’ve done works. And that will only come in the form of strategic skills.

So be strategic and survive!

Have a great day.