With the advent of modern advertising, and Internet marketing technologies in particular, has marketing become easier, more efficient and less costly?
Or in fact, has marketing become more complex, more misunderstood, less efficient and more costly?
In brief: I would answer “Yes” to both questions.
21st century marketing, particularly Internet marketing services, are prone to misunderstanding.
On the one hand, the technologies of Internet marketing may appear so alien to some, that the whole subject is confusing.
On the other hand, there are some aspects of Internet marketing that are simple enough, that given an understanding of certain components (like, say, how to create a blog), that one may consider the entire subject relatively simple.
Therein lies somewhat of a danger. As an analogy, some individuals might believe they are competent photographers because they have a digital camera and have taken some good photos. However, the difference between a competent amateur photographer and one who is a true professional can be so significant, that it defies logic and rational economics at first blush.
Why will companies and/or advertising agencies pay thousands of dollars to utilize the services of a top pro as opposed to a photographer who would potentially charge a lot less, but lacks pro experience?
One reason is because the cost to re-shoot an unsuccessfully executed project can be higher than the original shoot, and in the process, careers may be damaged as a result of a failed project. Stated another way, the cost of failing now may be considerably higher than the cost of getting it right later.
In simple terms, what it takes to provide PREDICTABLY good images, under specialized and/or pressured circumstances – on demand – is so different than what it takes to turn out good photos at one’s leisure, that the value difference between an amateur and top level pro can be exponential in terms of cost.
Returning to marketing, and achieving PREDICTABLE results, the difference between an experienced marketing professional and one who is not, can, in some circumstances, equate to the success or a failure of a company. Which is why some companies will pay large sums to consult with outside marketing professionals, when they are already funding large budgets internally for marketing services.
The understanding and misunderstanding of professional marketing is further complicated by the fact that the rate of change in marketing technology, and the execution of such, has evolved in more ways since the advent of the 21st century than at any point previously. Even highly successful marketing executives who may have retired several years ago, are out of the loop in terms of modern marketing technologies.
Internet marketing has not only dramatically changed the calculus of marketing in general, but the changes are still evolving every day!
Modern Marketing: Good News, Bad News
The good news is that such changes have resulted in lowered costs in certain areas, and simplified services in others. For example, setting up a website has never been easier. Nowadays, it’s possible to set up relatively sophisticated websites for a fraction of the cost of only a decade ago. Furthermore, the skill required to set up such a site is also a fraction of what was required a decade ago.
However, the bad news is that the simplicity and low cost of setting up websites has led to misunderstandings about the “marketing” of products and services via the Internet. The problem is quickly realized by any business which has set up a website and then experienced the unhappy reality of very few visitors arriving and the website not making anywhere near the profit that was anticipated.
21st Century Marketing: Best News!
In brief, 21st century marketing changes have resulted in good news and bad news. However, here’s the “best” news: never before has there been so many ways to measure and quantify the results of marketing, via the Internet. Which means the results of “professional” and/or “amateur” marketing services are now subject to the level of scrutiny and evaluation that have been required in the realm of scientific discovery and advances.
Stated another way, never before have marketers, and purchasers of marketing services, been able to so effectively gauge what they are gaining from their marketing investments. The relative merits (or not) of marketing campaigns and marketing services are more transparent than ever.
“How much sales increased” is a vital statistic. But it’s also invaluable to know “exactly” where those sales came from and how to improve sales further. The application of market testing in combination with modern analytics, speeds up the efficiency of marketing campaigns while reducing costs.
More importantly, in terms of establishing a marketing campaign or professional marketing services, one can better understand what lies ahead through the guidance of a marketing pro who can embrace the existing technologies, as well as a specific company’s circumstances and business goals, and coalesce these components into a customized strategy for the benefit of the client and the client’s expansion.
Customized, Professional Marketing Strategizing
For example, following is the Skyworks Marketing 4-Point Propulsion Strategy, which is a relatively simple approach to resolving dynamic and complex marketing problems and opportunities:
1) Conduct a consultive Analysis of a company’s current and/or past marketing activities.
2) Prepare and present a customized Marketing Program to expand the company, with an emphasis on low-cost, hard-hitting technologies for the most economical and sustained expansion possible.
3) Oversee execution of the Marketing Program (using the company’s staff and/or Skyworks Marketings’ resources).
4) Train company staff to apply cost-effective marketing technologies to continue to propel the company higher.
The net result of applying standard marketing principles, with modern marketing technologies (internally or externally), for the purpose of achieving marketing goals, all in combination with performance measurements, is an effective way to increase a company’s bottom line.
New marketing technologies do create marketing efficiencies. Simultaneously, they create confusion for those who do not understand the technological opportunities. This creates an apparent paradox of simplicity and complexity; efficiency and inefficiency.
The net result as it applies to you revolves around time and money: Do you have the personal bandwidth to learn it all? Or should you hire a marketing professional to guide your business growth?