Old school marketers are dead. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that.
Marketing needs to be scrapped -- here's why

Marketers who don't keep themselves updated with the latest in marketing are not too far behind. You can see them nodding off to sleep every now and again, when they miss something they shouldn't have. But the young guns that embrace every new technology that hits the market with the same fever as they attack heading out for a night on the town -- are alive and kicking. No failed experiment is a failure. It simply is a lesson learned and something to store in the knowledge bank. They are braver, more agile and prepared to be on the front line, if need be.

Here's why...

In the past 24 years since I started in the industry it has changed significant. No-one is disputing that and certainly not me. But with change has come a few problems, namely marketers themselves who are either waiting too long to embrace new technologies or ways to communicate with target audiences, or they just place the next new thing on the list in their next marketing strategy.

How many marketers do you know, like myself that added Vine to the list of places to market brands, only to find that it became irrelevant as fast as it was originally downloaded? I did. I won't lie. I added Vine to marketing strategies focused on consumers and you know what, I failed. I failed because I caught onto a fad, not a meaningful marketing medium. And why? There were so many new technologies at play at the time, and I am sure I just read articles produced by journalists, not marketers, and quickly got onboard. 

From this mistake I learned a lot and mostly it was to not "add" to the marketing strategy, but instead, to disrupt it and re-invent the platform from which we work.

When you start writing next years marketing strategy, don't refer to last year. Instead, pretend it never existed. Work from a completely clean slate, and think about how the best functioning marketing department in the world would work. Think outside the square. What does the marketing team need to do to drive the sales performance of the organisation and build brand and customer experience?

It's no secret that marketing automation is one of the most cost-effective marketing mediums for business today, if and only if, you have a good websites, great content strategy and call to actions. But how many of you just added marketing automation to CRM and e-marketing platforms such as MailChimp? Did you fully understand the functionality of marketing automation to know whether or not your sales team needed CRM anymore or the e-marketing tool you were using?

I know this isn't everyone, but the truth of the matter is that marketing strategies as they are today, largely need to be scrapped. In fact, marketing needs to be scrapped and it needs to be reinvented, rejuvenated with no biaise to how we use to do things, instead focus on the 'now' and the 'future'. 

Are press releases still relevant? Should they be video? Has an inside sales model overtaken the sales department? Is telemarketing gone forever? Do you stop printing and start converserving the environment and show the level of social and environmental responsibility you are prepared to take? Are you talking to your sales team and re-mapping their experience with leads? Have you gone electronic in all of your processes?

There are a lot of questions for marketers to consider. Where to start is definitely from a point of having a blank canvas. The huge shift from customer focused organisations to employee focused organisations with champions like Richard Branson spruiking from the skies how important it is for companies to treat employees like they are the most important people on the planet. Except, he forgot one thing... when you forget the client, particularly in the area of consultancy, they stop needing you. And with the issues that companies face with Gen-Y employees demands, crippling organisations and sending them into the red... leaders are stopping to think. Was this a good idea? A happy medium is always the best -- but the shift back to customer happiness is something that is essential... afterall, it's there experience that pays the bills. 

How this affects marketing is significant. When reinventing the marketing strategy, the shift has to be evident. The centre of the circle has to be the customer and every single touch point needs to showcase this gigantic shift. Re-education amongst key stakeholders in the organisation is essential. Everyone needs to be on the same page.

My suggestion to all marketers out there... delete the word marketing, then rewrite it your way with freedom to be creative and accountable.


Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

1 comment

  • Olivia Jia
    Olivia Jia
    12/11/15

    Melissa recognises the necessity for the ever evolving field of marketing. Undoubtedly, marketing is a reflection of our society- our tastes, preferences and habits. Since humans evolve and adapt constantly, marketing must do the same.
    Marketers must be on the forefront of technology and innovation, anticipating trends and ideas before the general public catches on.
    The idea that marketing needs to be "scrapped" is very interesting. Having thought about it, I don't deny that some marketing practices are extremely outdated (such as radio) but I wouldn't wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. Of course, one could argue that not moving forward completely leaves room for safety and comfort. Holding onto the past can hold a company back, or prime them for ideas that are outdated.
    Depending on the client and the target market, particularly older generations, some marketing practices may still need to be practiced. I believe that many lessons can be gained from the past, and it may not be prudent to completely dismiss it all.
    This only makes the case for a marketing strategy that is well-tailored and customised, something marketingEye seems to be focussed on delivering.

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