Is Conventional Advertising and marketing Lifeless?

If you work in marketing or have ever been on the Internet at all, then you have probably heard of it in the last 3-5 years: Is traditional marketing dead?

Traditional marketing isn’t dead, but it’s time to combine it with digital marketing for better results and to stay relevant.

Marketing has changed massively in the last 10 years, but the “traditional” ways are not necessarily dead. Let me explain: B2C marketing has changed. We all know it, we all see it. It has changed because tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook, along with companies like Samsung and Apple, have made information available to all of us. We live in a world of instant gratification. Everyone from the CEO to high school age knows how to use Amazon and can have almost anything on their doorstep in two days or less. Millennials, Gen-Z, Gen-X and baby boomers have all gotten used to this new way of life.

While we often see B2C as “How fast can we deliver a product or service?”? We are used to receiving not only products, services, apps, etc. at record speed, but also information.

We live in a world where almost anyone can find the answer to a problem through the internet – and if you can’t find a direct answer to your problem, you will most likely find someone who can solve your problem. All within minutes or, in the worst case, hours. This is where most B2B companies fail. They assume, because their business has been around for a hundred years, everyone already knows who they are and how to buy from them.

Therefore, they do not “need” to revitalize their marketing strategies. You have field workers taking to the streets to get their attention, and the “new age” of marketing is for young startups, retailers, and e-commerce. It’s not for a credit union or manufacturing company. What these big, established companies forget is that things have and have changed massively. The C-level executives who sell their representatives have gotten used to receiving information at lightning speed. You don’t need your representative to come and talk about how great your product or service is. The 19 repetitions that came before them said the same thing.

Are you really that different?

Your audience needs to know that your company is different. You need to know why your credit union is better, or why they should use your law firm, and no, it’s not because you have the lowest rates or the fastest response times. Sure, that matters, but that won’t be enough to see massive growth over the next 5-10 years. Because remember that “everyone” has the best prices, the fastest service and the lowest up-front costs … you are not “that” different. When a C-level manager doesn’t want to buy from your company. You do a simple Google search and BAM has a list of 14 other companies in your area that are doing exactly the same thing as you.

So the question remains, how do you differentiate yourself enough to stand out from the crowd? Sure, you can exchange your products and offers, but these are short-term solutions to long-term problems.

So how do you stand out?

As a B2B company, you don’t have to ditch your traditional “old school” channels and marketing methods entirely. You can still place your TV, newspaper and radio advertisements. You can still send direct mail and create eye-catching billboards. What you need to change is not so much the channel (although being active online will be a given in 2019), you need to focus on changing your message. You need to change the way you market yourself. You need to show them that you are different not by what you offer, but by who you are.

As a millennial-focused marketing firm, we meet with many traditional, well-established companies looking for ways to revamp their marketing strategies to attract younger eyes, and they almost never like our plan. They expect us to be creating great content in Adobe and serving amazing, targeted Facebook and YouTube ads. While that’s true to a certain extent, it’s the message that matters. We can run a reasonably decent ad in Canva that promotes branding and get better results than a fine-grained Photoshop creation that promotes promotional content.

Why is it so important to sell the “WHY” of the brand?

We know you have the best products and services. We have been told this by you and everyone else in your room for years. That no longer catches our eye. We got the attention span of less than a goddamn goldfish! Do you really think that your ad with the lowest auto loan rates will really be enough to not only convert me but get a lifelong customer as well? Probably not.

What will create a lifelong customer is knowing who you are and why you do what you do. This creates an emotional connection between you and me that goes much deeper than “20% of my next visit”. When we understand why you do what we do, we feel like we know you and that’s enough to keep coming back. The biggest problem we (as an agency) face when selling to B2B companies is getting them out of their comfort zone enough to change the message. To stop distributing so much advertising content and start promoting more branding. The branding creates fans – true fans for life.

Merge the old with the new. Use the billboards to connect with your community and run a Facebook ad with a one-minute video interview with your CEO telling us why he comes to work every day. Create a YouTube channel showing your co-workers having fun at work and going out to connect and give back to your community.

Do you want to sell more in the digital age? Get bigger, better and stronger? Choose to be different. To take risks. Stand out. Show us why you sell what you sell and create what you create. Show us how you deal with your employees and those around you. Show us why we should buy from you. Change is scary, there’s no denying that. But change is required for growth, especially in the ever-changing market we have today. Be different, stand out, and don’t be afraid to question the status quo.

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