Marketing is not what it used to be

The 15-year anniversary of Shout Marketing seems like a good time to reflect on how marketing management has changed and its fair to say that while I think the principles are largely the same, how they are executed have changed significantly.

Circa 2006 campaigns tended to be print-heavy whether that be direct mail to customer bases or purchased lists, press advertising or even things like order forms, product catalogues and information booklets.

2008 Direct Mail campaign to farmers

2011 Sales pack in beautiful timber box 

Fast forward to 2021 and here are some observations.  Modern marketing is:

  1. Largely digital – and this covers a whole range of things including websites with or without e-commerce and account management functionality, to digital advertising to the various social media channels. There’s a whole host of benefits, not least that all businesses can now have a global audience.
  2. Cheaper – print and post and advertising were expensive compared to the many platforms available now, even when you go down the track of paid advertising and promotions. Changing details like prices or contact details just requires you to login and make the tweak.  You don’t have to order a whole new print run.
  3. Faster – digital is real time so tweak a section in the backend of a digital platform and the change is almost instant. You can also build a campaign over time with a series of short messages rather than having everything ready to go at once.  Platforms are designed to be user friendly so the client can do many of the things the agency used to.
  4. Interactive – modern consumers don’t want to be dished up a product, they want to have a say in how it is created, interact with the designer or maker, customize their own features and write reviews. Customer service is more than an 0800 number or an information desk.  It is replying to emails, chat boxes, comments and reviews as well as providing functionality for customization and account management.
  5. Having a story. It’s no longer enough to have a great product, you have to pair it with an authentic story of how the product came about and how it’s made up.  Consumers want to know more about what they are buying and its worth telling them because emotional buy-in is largely what drives purchasing behaviours.

On the flip side it was really refreshing to visit the Fieldays to see the array of branded displays companies had invested in.  Because it doesn’t start and stop with digital.  There is still a role for what we now call traditional marketing including press advertising, events and some point of sale material.

There’s loads of modern marketing examples on our Work page on the website.  As always, a campaign is most effective when you tie everything together including brand, promotions, public relations and communications.

I am grateful Shout has been able to evolve with technology advancements and consumer needs, while still being able to draw from traditional practices.