Marketing professionals are in a unique position. In the midst of a massive shift towards social media campaigns and new technologies, experienced marketers are faced with the prospect of needing to wise up to the digital reality or ship out. But is this choice actually necessary? And is the new medium truly creating a different skill set for today’s marketers? Arguably not. Marketing is marketing, whether it comes in print, digital, or social form, the game is the same.
Marketing is Marketing
There’s been some talk among baby-boomer marketing professionals about the growing obsolescence of traditionally trained marketers. Boomers, who have been in the game for decades, fear that due to the generational gap between themselves and their customer, they are less likely to deliver quality advertising to their customers. Sure, the means of delivering the message may have changed, but when it comes down to it, marketing is still marketing. Advertising professionals are still tasked with clearly communicating the fundamental elements of their client’s brand to the best possible potential customer base. Can new technologies like social media help this cause? Perhaps. There are a number of wunderkid stories about the power of social media to energize customers to take action, however there are plenty of tales of the apathy inherent in digital interactions. New technologies can be powerful marketing tools when employed as part of a well-constructed, carefully analyzed marketing plan. Without a deep understanding of marketing practices and brand objectives to back them however, you’re simply not guaranteed any success for yourself or your client.
ROI Doesn’t Lie
It’s natural, and even good practice, to question your marketing methods and strategies as you move forward in your career. While considering the ever growing number of platforms at your disposal to spread your message, remember to employ trusted, tested metrics to ensure that your marketing strategies are actually effective. Before leaping into a massive social media campaign for fear of appearing “behind the times,” be sure to carefully consider the potential return on investment (ROI). Several splashy social media campaigns look great on the surface, but upon digging a bit deeper, the metrics simply don’t hold up. As with any marketing campaign, you’ll want to maximize on your ROI to ensure that your client’s dollars are going the distance to generate new customers and retain brand loyalists.
It’s an exciting time to be a marketing professional. There are more and more chances in the workplace for cross-generational collaboration. These opportunities are ripe with the potential for battling egos and showmanship but may also lead to inspiring campaigns that shine greater than the sum of its parts. Generation Y has plenty to learn from the Boomers about the traditional marketing methods that have served the industry well for years, and Boomers would do well to get hip to the latest trends in the industry. Diverse, multi-platform strategies can maximize ROI if they are well-planned and enacted.
As with any campaign, the goal is the same: Understand your target audience, communicate your client’s brand, and maximize your ROI. Marketing is marketing. It’s just that simple.