“The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising” is how the Oxford English Dictionary defines Marketing. Now, my problem with this is not just the definition in particular, it’s with any definition that attempts to, in one statement, describe what Marketing is. When you say the word Marketing my mind is immediately drawn to a concept, to a picture of what something could be, not what something is. Marketing to me isn’t one thing; it’s an infinite amount of things. Sure there are concepts, key terms, and ideology that may create the foundation of what Marketing is, but beyond that there is no correct answer as to what to do.
Some people say that Marketing is more of a science than an art and although it does involve some volatile ingredients, I would again argue the exact opposite. With no two businesses alike, how can one Company’s Marketing plan completely apply to another? Artists all learn the foundation of art but move past that to go on and create their own masterpieces and no two masterpieces are ever alike… how is the art form of Marketing any different?
Marketing, like any popular art form, needs to take influence and meaning from the world that surrounds it. Meaning that you need to connect with the trends or lifestyles that are going on around you in order to be successful, and more importantly in order to stand the test of time, years later someone will look back and have some insight as to where you came from. With fads, trends, and social norms changing all the time, your business needs a Marketing plan that is ahead of, not on track with the world around it. When looking to create your masterpiece of a business these difficulties come into play. If you are able to accomplish this, your company can stand tall among the changes around you.
To apply this concept to today’s world there is no clearer influence to focus on than technology. There is no doubt that throughout the last decade the world has been taken on the wild roller coaster with the newest gadget or upgrade always around the next corner. It may be hard to keep up but we have since adapted strategies to continue our masterpieces shining brightly.
In order for you to shine among your competitors, utilizing the trends and fads of the world is most beneficial. In today’s technology driven world businesses have clung onto every facet of technology in order to make things easier. Where this may be true in the short term, looking long term I will argue that the opposite may be so. Social media is probably the biggest facet of technology that all business across all industries have begun utilizing. It’s a great concept allowing you to connect to your friends, your fans, and your favorite stars instantly with the best thing being that it’s always at your fingertips 24/7.
Soon after the boom of technology and social media, came the boom of content marketing. In utilizing social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) it forced businesses to task their marketing teams with content to fill there profiles with. In having content focused platforms for your target audience this made the job of getting the message to our audience that much easier. Word of mouth, audience preference, and buy-to-try were all just a click away, but one thing became a problem… attention.
With content coming at you from all angles, pulling the attention of your audience is now an even bigger struggle than before. Secondly, there is so much “new” content being created every day that the content that you created a week ago may no longer be relevant today. Speaking long term, Marketers are now being faced with being as creative as possible as often as possible in order to keep the name of your company exposed and brand continually relevant. In order to achieve continuous exposure your business is tasked with continuous hard work.
Until recently there were different types of Marketing media in which you could get your message across: Paid media (advertising), earned media (content creation), and owned media (PR). With the boom of content marketing and social sharing platforms, the lines between these Medias have been severely blurred and made way for the new concept of Real-Time Marketing. In order to keep up with the new pace of the ever changing world marketers and businesses need to be acting as soon as possible and are forced to work in “real time” in order to keep up with the demands for fresh, new, and creative content.
Real-Time Marketing is the newest solution to keep up with the demand of content, but does it cause another problem? A new business launches their products or services and because of real time marketing techniques, can see a surge of new customers within days or weeks, where before it could have taken months. Now as great as that may sounds, it too comes with potential problems.
When looking at a chart showing a company’s success, before, you would have probably seen a bell curve. A slow climb up toward their peak of success and then it would start to dip down a little bit until they released a new product or service and then would go back up again, a normal up and down trend of success. Today, with exposure being more instantaneous, when you look at the same chart, you will probably see a different picture.
Instead of that gradual climb of success in the beginning, you are seeing more of an upward spike (great), but then followed by an equally as quick plummet (not so great). Real-Time Marketing has become a yet another catalyst to speed up the process of success and how we conduct ourselves corporately. That slow gradual climb to success may have taken longer but it gave business the time they needed to create, prepare, and solidify their next big thing. This is where the problem comes into play.
Just like any masterpiece, time is of the essence. Getting the job done is important but in order to have something worthwhile you need to take the time to make sure that it is the best it can be. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day. Technology is great, but is it taking away from what Marketers and business really need to be doing? If we take a second and stop competing with the clock, we might just find the time we need in order to make the clock the least of our worries.
Moving forward into 2015 and beyond we don’t know where the world will take us, but we do know that we have the choice to control the path we take to get there. Do you think we’re in the driver’s seat or has technology taken over? Have you noticed this trend yourself? What can you do to change this? How will this affect the way you run your business? What masterpieces will you strive to create? Please weigh in in the comments below; let us know what you think.
Until next time…