Social Media Meets Traditional Marketing

by Blair Evan Ball on January 28, 2011


For well over a century, successful companies have been built around Traditional Marketing. Take an average product, market it to the masses (average people), spend enough money promoting it, and voila you stood to make significant profits. TV was the medium of choice.

There were hundreds of thousands of companies. All looked the same. They were small and local, and built things by hand. Most of these companies failed to make the transition to the next era. They weren’t willing to change to appeal to the masses, and underinvested in marketing. Local general store or blacksmith. Only a few left today.

The organization you work for today was almost certainly invented and optimized and evolved to work perfectly in a world of retailers, local factories, media, and commodity products and services. When those things are altered forever, what will happen to you?

Enter the new marketing (Social Media), which has shaken up the traditional marketing ranks.

The New Social Media Marketing doesn’t work for everyone or every business. and it doesn’t work as well or as fast as some would like. However, we need to be asking better questions.

WRONG question.  How do we use this new social media marketing to maintain business as usual?

RIGHT Question. How do we become an organization that thrives because of the New Social Media Marketing.

The media you depended on to sell average stuff to average people is fading. Network TV, newspapers, telemarketing, and cold calling are in trouble. Tactics from the New Social Media Marketing are taking the steam out of  Traditional Marketing, without completely replacing it.

Traditional organizations can’t thrive if they rely on the New Social Marketing to do their Old Marketing for them.


Creates interactions among communities with similar interests. New Social Media Marketing treats every interaction, product, service, and side effect as a form of media.  Marketers do this by telling stories, creating remarkable products, and gaining permission to deliver messages directly to interested people.

If organizations of the past were optimized around the advertising, selling and retail tools of that era, what happens now?

  • Direct Mail hates products that appeal to everyone.
  • Direct Mail can’t afford to go to everyone.
  • The New Social Media Marketing demands better marketing.
  • Better products.
  • Better services.
  • Better organization.

Traditional Marketing has been the success formula for the past hundred years. Now it’s giving us less growth than we need. We need factories, we need average stuff for average people. What happens now when people don’t respond to the old messages anymore? What happens when marketing changes and suddenly the rules are different?

While everyone on your marketing team is busy making more noise, the core of your organization doesn’t match the noise. The very advantages organizations of the past have built upon are now fading.

Good news is you don’t have to start from scratch. Begin with the end in mind. The challenge is that you and the stakeholders have to be willing to become an organization that is in SYNC with the New Social Media marketing.

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