In the 20th century, marketing followed logic. It was the pyramid method for building marketing plans and communications. Straightforward. Logical. The communication channels were easy to manage and control.
Even better, society thought and acted a certain way. Boomers appreciated the methodology involved in this tried and true process, without even knowing they were being sold a product or service along the way. With the conservative nature of business, everyone followed this plan, and over the years you could see the evolution of a marketing message along the sides of the pyramid.
Then came the Internet. Originally, this wasn’t a significant event from a marketing point of view. Sure, the channel was new, and via websites, blogs, and email, we could reach consumers and businesses a different way. But still, the process was the process.
After the birth of the Internet, we watched it spawn two key elements in today’s consumer and community: social media and Millennials.
…In a good way of course. With social media, the channels became timeless and virtually ubiquitous. With Millennials, the culture changed dramatically. No longer do they want to hear from an expert or a professional; they want to hear from trusted colleagues and friends.
No longer are consumers doing business; they’re building relationships. This has caused us to revisit our best practices and come up with something new. I call this the atom model.
The atom model is exactly what it sounds like. From a nucleus of thought and product messaging come a whirlwind of moving pieces. Nothing is static. Nothing follows the standard communication chain of command. Information is everywhere; relationships are key to moving your message forward; and ignoring any one segment or channel can be the death of your market penetration.
The old business axiom “herding cats” has become a reality. If you can’t get all the pieces rounded up and moving in cohesion, you’re bound to fail. You need an understanding of more than just social media, video, or web design—all of these are coming together and expanding to reach multiple sales channels simultaneously. Tactics and timing change more quickly than ever before. Your partners across the Internet and social media platforms change their rules yearly (see Google and Facebook as the chief instigators of these changes).
Serious focus and attention to detail are needed. It’s no longer acceptable to simply mail a postcard, create a website and leave it alone, or post a video to YouTube and walk away. And forget about newspaper and radio ads. (If you’re still in this space, please close your browser now and stop reading…)