It’s no secret that the marketing industry is constantly evolving, so we won’t bore you with how social media has rocked our world and how traditional marketing (advertising and print) is weakening. Let’s skip the basics and get straight to the nitty gritty. What’s behind all of this change? Why isn’t advertising effective anymore? There are two big reasons: one, consumers now seek the brands their interested in – they don’t want to be interrupted (and don’t have to be with TiVo, Hulu and Netflix); and two, consumers are less likely to trust (or even pay attention to) an advertisement. So, we have to capture their attention in other ways and restore trust with our consumers.

From selling to educating
Marketing is no longer just advertising your product. It’s about creating a brand, knowing your publics and knowing how to communicate to them. With this knowledge, content marketing was born. It’s more than just selling a product; you also have to educate and inform consumers about your product, which we now generally do through social media.

From informational to relational
Not only are you finding new ways to communicate to your audiences, you also have to find new ways to communicate with your audiences. Marketing has gone from disseminating information to building a relationship. It wasn’t until the 1990s that companies were even able to observe buyers’ behaviors and begin targeting their audiences; that’s when the idea of building a relationship with consumers formed. This made it difficult for companies to adapt to listening to and understanding its consumers’ wants. One-way communication, meet two-way symmetrical communication. Now we know that our consumers want more than just a product. They want a brand that they can trust and that they can relate to, which – surprise! – we also do through social media. 

From word of mouth to online reviews
Before the Internet, the purchase of the product was typically the end of the relationship. Traditional advertising was done through the media, and word of mouth didn’t usually come back around to the company. Now, companies have to keep track of online reviews and know what consumers are saying about their brand. While the Internet may have led to the knowledge of negative reviews and a bit more work for your digital media manager, something great also comes with this. Companies are now able to reach out to consumers directly and make things right!

From verbose to visual
Not only have advertisements moved from print to digital, the design has also evolved. Posters, catalogues and commercials had to include all information. There was no “visit our website for more information!” This meant a lot of words – a lot of words that most people would glance over today. Now, visuals go a long way. The fewer words the better. That doesn’t necessarily mean the more graphics the better; it means the better the graphics the better. High quality images, photos and illustrations as well as attractive and professional websites build trust and credibility with the consumer.

Although marketing is constantly evolving, there are a few things that will never change. Thought leadership, credibility, storytelling and relationships will remain high on a consumers’ list of importance for generations to come.