Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

by os_admin

Quick paced changes in media consumption, marketing technology and trends make it very tempting to scrap historical marketing models. However, you may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater when you abandon the rigor of proven marketing practices for the use of new tools.

Marketers are always interested in using the newest marketing tools and principles. It is very tempting to create blogs, start cause-related marketing campaigns and take advantage of emerging marketing tools like viral videos, social networking and mobile marketing. I suspect it is part of a marketer’s DNA.

Many of these emerging tools are excellent and can yield good results. Combine them with other changes that have occurred over the past ten to fifteen years (like internet advertising, websites, database management and relationship deepening programs) and it is clear that marketing has evolved tremendously over the past decade.

This change has been good and bad. A positive example is how technology can enhance our use of market segmentation. Several years ago, it was possible to segment the market based on psychographics but it usually was not actionable. It was unclear how to reach each market segment efficiently with dedicated marketing programs because most media sales were based on demographics. Therefore, resources were spent on mass marketed advertising campaigns that largely ignored psychographics. This was not as efficient or as effective as what can be done today. With data storage costs declining and an improved ability to collect and manipulate data on specific consumers, it is possible to identify consumers which fit into psychographic segments and engage them directly. This was almost unthinkable for a mass marketer as recently as ten years ago.

On the flip side and to marketing’s detriment, these new tools and technologies can become the focus of effort while proven practices are ignored. In our consulting practice, we see many companies whose revenues are stagnant. They strive to improve their results by developing strategies and marketing programs around new tools like social networking and mobile marketing. Often, the fundamentals of marketing are forgotten and principles like market segmentation have been ignored.

At EMM Group, we have conducted many studies to understand what drives organic growth. Although some of the tools have changed, the framework for organic growth has remained relatively constant over time. It focuses on knowing your market and your customer.

As this framework suggests, once we understand the market and the consumer - their needs and drivers - we can engage:

  • The right customer with
  • The right brand promise and
  • The right innovation with
  • The right message and
  • The right engagement strategy and marketing tool

The use of new tools can enhance your marketing efforts and produce results. However, they must be underpinned with the best practices that have been developed and proven over time. Otherwise, you run the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.