Your Marketing Is (Most Likely) Dated

image credit:  confusedvision

The slow shrinking of mainstream, one-size-fits-all; the massive growth of customization and personalization

Millions of people no longer watch TV, and many that do skip the ads with Tivo.  Print newspapers and magazines are dying a slow and painful death (although a few smart ones have evolved and are thriving).  Even web users use ad-block plus to skip the ads in Firefox.

How does your organization get its messaging out?  Yesterday it was done through carefully crafting messages pushed out onto channels others had built – the ones I mentioned above.  The ones that are becoming less effective and losing influence daily.

The old way was paying to use someone else’s monolithic channel.  The world is obviously moving against this, it is one of the simultaneously most clear yet most ignored trends in communications.  People scoff at the notion that the TV to consumer model isn’t forever broken.  It is, and the world is not changing back.  People who wake up from their mass media slumber don’t fall back asleep.

The future is now, just in small pockets…and its spreading

Those benefiting from the old models would refuse to ever lead on that their system was broken.  Why would they?  Just like religion generally doesn’t cede ground to science, even when it should, the business and communications world has a knee-jerk reaction to downplay new technology, even when it is such an obvious game-changer.

Here’s the lesson:  the music industry ignored digital content, now they’re suffering at the hands of BitTorrent and iTunes.  Newspapers didn’t embrace the web and are suffering as ad dollars shift to digital.

Don’t let your business miss the boat just to uphold the status quo.  Diving into something new is actually less risky than ignoring it.  You have everything to gain and far less to lose.  The wait and see approach is far more dangerous, because you risk ceding ground the nimble competitors.

Internet killed the TV star

Millions is (imo) wasted on TV advertising daily.  Even if you just took a little money out of that pot you’d quickly discover it can be better spent in far more interesting ways, creating deeper and more meaningful interactions instead of fueling more dollars into the eyeballs of latent individuals.

Please don’t throw stones at me, but smart people, people who could potentially spread your messages don’t watch TV anymore (or if they do, they watch very little).  But these influencers of society do spend a majority of their time is on the web.

It’s obvious why – people love to talk, connect and interact with ideas and others that are like them.  The web has enabled social dialogue in a way never seen before.

Popular media has changed, and thus to stay effective, marketing has to change along with it.  And, it can change for the better in a way that is ultimately more effective.  But treating these new channels like you treat the traditional avenues is doomed for failure.

This is all good news and bad news for you.  The bad news?  Renting out someone else’s channel or network is losing effectiveness at a sharp pace (perhaps already completely ineffective).  The good news is (if you’re intrepid) you can build your own channel and galvanize a force of people behind you in a far deeper way than previously possible.

An analogy

image credit:  chaidealo

Let me provide an analogy to try and clarify this:  mass communications used to be like playing checkers.  Simple, straightforward, some basic strategy involved, however it was relatively basic and one-dimensional.  The game is no longer checkers, the infinite possibilities and long tail channels of the web have turned it into chess.  And yet, many marketers are trying to use checkers on a chess board.  Some might get lucky, but on the whole It’s doomed to fail from the start.

Like chess, you have to think on your toes, be able to adapt and understand the art behind the game.  Just like chess, social media is actually not difficult to learn if you try it out, and it gets far more rewarding and natural with time.  To someone who has only played checkers, chess may seem complex, when in reality it just takes time to learn, just like it did for people to originally learn checkers.

The answer is to have a social communication strategy, build a tribe and lead them in a positive direction

If you are reading this, you are aware of the power of micro networks.  I’m just one person, and my goal with this site is purely to share ideas (I hope) you’ll find useful while connecting with you.

The fact that you read this far in this post proves the power behind building a personal network and leading a tribe.  I’ve built permission to share my thoughts with you here. I work hard to provide you insight, ideas and hopefully inspiration.

My point is this:  we are connected in a way that is mutually beneficial for everyone.  You have told me yes, I want to read your ideas and share mine with you (it goes both ways, I read every comment here).

The change for the world of communications is obvious.  It applies to businesses, non-profits, artists, individuals…anyone who wants to share ideas with the world.

Are you planning to use the wonderful tools available to build a network and lead a tribe in a positive direction?  I hope you will, and I hope you share it with me.

This post was inspired by Seth Godin’s new book: Tribes.   Get it here, you will not be dissapointed (bonus, my picture is on the back flap with some other good looking bloggers). 

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