Marketing is Dead and a New Beast Rises

Patti RennerAbout a year ago, Bill Lee of Harvard Business Review shook things up, declaring Marketing Is Dead. The traditional role of marketing continues to erode as distracted consumers no longer pay close attention to your campaign brilliance. Traditional mix ingredients such as advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications are now considered parts of a broken model. Some speculated that social would overtake it (the jury is out as to the ROI of non-sponsored social campaigns), but I don’t think so. Maybe I watch too many scary movies, but I see the former body of marketing resurrecting as something new and evolved altogether – part zombie, part superhero.
Picture Vincent Price in the lab. The warm corpse of classic marketing has sprung back to life with the mad marketing scientist’s wicked laugh and an infusion of data. Just as zombies live off brains, this new beast gets stronger with the intake of data. Data feeds help the beast understand and evolve, helping marketers pinpoint the targeting of campaigns, anticipate trends and speed conversion rates. “It’s alive!” And it’s fabulous.

Here’s why… Social becomes more effective when your data allows you to post to select audiences. Email becomes more powerful when marketing is fueled by data, allowing you to carry on relevant campaigns and conversations with engaging content. Display get better when fed direct details of a person’s first-party preferences and behaviors (like abandoned shopping cart details, etc.). The better your data intake, and the better your beast can absorb and use that data, the stronger your results.

So where is your marketing in this evolution? Is it cold on the slab, leaving you checking for its pulse as your CEO loses patience? Are you hoping lightning will strike to resuscitate things? No, you need to infuse your marketing with data and watch things spring to life. The death of old marketing doesn’t have to be scary – not when you control the elixir (aka “DMP”) to bring it back to life.

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