Time to change? When will the marketing world embrace a new model??

I am currently reading Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce. The first few pages of the book paint a stark picture of the future of society if we allow free-market capitalism and the idea that growth will fix everything to continue dominating our lives. While, so far, Hawken is speaking of sustainability in the context of the environmental crisis, I feel that those same forces and ideas have application in the world of marketing and PR.

Does traditional advertising and media have an impact on people like carbon emissions have on the environment? Is there a more sustainable way to conduct marketing and PR? I believe there is and that the future lies in new media and social media marketing. The challenge, however, will be to get organizations to abandon the old definitions of success. On page 6 of the book, Hawken poses the question, “When will the business world look honestly at itself and ask whether it isn’t time to change?” I believe that marketers have to ask themselves the same question.

In a post yesterday on his blog Marketing In The Public Sector, Jim Mintz quoted some statistics about the rise of new media. The post was entitled Social Media Marketing …the Next Wave for Public Sector and Nonprofit Marketers. While the post posed a lot of interesting points, what struck me when I read it was the way media is “fanning out” and what this ultimately means to marketers. If everyone has the ability to be a media producer, marketing and PR will most definitely become a two-way street.

It seems to me that the days of being able to “throw money” at marketing and buy a successful campaign are nearing an end. What seems to be emerging is the need for organizations to tell authentic stories in ways that add value to peoples lives. Furthermore, organizations will have to be open to honest conversation with consumers. I think it will be hard, but necessary, for organizations to let go of the idea that they must control the message. Instead, they will need to be open, honest, and responsive.

So where does new media and social media fit in? While I am excited about the ways that new media like blogging and podcasting can be used by organizations to tell their stories in ways that are conversational and add value to people’s lives, I do realize that they can be manipulated as tools to become just as impact-heavy as television and print ad campaigns. It is my hope that marketers, particularly in the realm of value-driven organizations, will embrace the idea that it is not how many people they reach, but who they reach and how they reach them that truly matters.

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2 comments so far

  1. jimmintz on

    There is no question that the world of marketing is changing and throwing money using TV and Print is clearly not the best way to spend money. Social media is a real equalizer as it gives non profit organizations the opportunity to compete with the big budget marketers and get their message out as well as getting feedback from their audience.

    I certainly hope that nonprofit marketers really take advantage of this tremendous opportunity. Our organization the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing will be promoting this approach in the next few years in all of our training and consulting work.

  2. April Feld Sandor on

    It is all about trust and respect. Whatever type of marketing one does, choosing to be honest and trustworthy in content is important. Just as we have become mistrustful of more traditional forms of media advertisements, the same will occur in social media if individuals aren’t truthful. Recommitting to the word and the picture is all — honour and respect, the bottom line instead of the numbers.


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