Is Your Marketing on the Right Or the Left?
With the recent debate concerning national health reform, there has been an overwhelming amount of commentary surrounding our nation's two legitimate political parties and how they are diametrically opposed on how to best supply health insurance to all Americans. On the right you have the conservative Republicans, who want to keep the basic healthcare system we have in place today, and focus on how to improve what already exists. On the left you have the liberal Democrats, who want to rewrite the rules and build a new system.
What does this have to do with marketing? A lot actually. Just as there are two popular perspectives on how to best manage our nation's healthcare system, a similar debt is happening in marketing organizations all over the world. On the far right you have conservative marketers, marketers that have built their brands on the tried and true mediums of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the like.
While they acknowledge some changes in the media landscape, they tend to generalize that much of the so called "new media" such as social media, online video, text messaging and the like, are being used by a select few (mostly young people) , and that it is impossible to reach the masses and build a loyal brand following using these mediums. These conservative marketers also like to have complete control their message and their brand. They resist change, are risk adverse, and prefer to use what has been proven to work in the past.
On the far left you have liberal marketers, those that want to throw out the old media and focus only on the new. They have an aversion to traditional media; they can not understand why anyone would spend money on media that is decreasing in usage (even thought it still reaches millions of consumers) and that will not allow you to connect with consumers on a more personal level. They love to experiment and they prefer mediums like Facebook, blogs, and YouTube. They do not fear losing control of their marketing. In fact, they encourage people to interact with the brand and take it indirections they may have never even thought of.
So what am I? I consider myself to be a marketing independent. I think the truth lies somewhere in the center, not on the fringes. I believe that today's marketing organizations must evaluate all media, both old and new, on there individual merits and not lump them into broad categories and make wide generalizations (like I did above). Like the quote that appears at the top of this blog, the question is not whether a company uses old media or new media, but that it makes the mix that is right for them, and how they integrate the use of different mediums to build an integrated marketing strategy that is larger than its individual pieces.
So what about you? Are you a marketing conservative or a liberal? How about the organization that you work for?