A Fundamental Change in the Marketing Conversation
January 16, 2017 by Bill Rosenthal

The discipline of marketing was quick to embrace online communications as a new medium. The web, social media, and even email seemed like effective ways to spread marketing messages. But if you simply see the online world as a new medium for old marketing messages, you are missing a fundamental change in the marketing conversation.

Until the rise of the internet, you had to find an audience for your marketing message. You might look at the demographics for the audiences of various kinds of content — magazines, television programs, radio — and try to determine how closely those demographics matched the demographics of your customer base. If so, you might advertise via that content. But this has its drawbacks. “How can you put on a meaningful drama or documentary, that is adult, incisive, probing,” said Rod Serling in a speech at Ithaca College in 1982, “when every fifteen minutes the proceedings are interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper?” 

With the rise of the internet and the web, however, the search for audiences has changed radically. These days, the audience is more likely to find the marketer than the marketer is to find the audience. Think about it. If you need something, what’s your first step? You search the web. You educate yourself about your need and what might fill it. You read articles and learn the language you need to perform more and more precise searches. Once you understand the thing and have an idea of who the players are in the market, you check reviews, rankings, and forum discussions.

Because we all turn to the web to answer our questions, it is powering an explosion of what’s called “content marketing.” Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable and relevant content to find and engage an audience. Blogs, podcasts, email newsletters, and white papers can create a presence on the web for your product or service. When prospective customers come on the web to do their research, your library of white papers or newsletters on a website can help them find you. But the process is by no means haphazard. As a marketer, you need to know what it takes to make your content findable, and you need to learn the techniques for making it rise higher in the search rankings. You need to understand the rules and customs of social media. You need to learn how to get other sites to link to yours. You need, in other words, to learn digital marketing. Digital marketing allows you to be present when the prospective customer initiates the marketing conversation.

Some marketers are embracing this new marketing conversation. And some are still pushing their old marketing messages via various forms of spam, which is to say interrupting people’s attention with dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper. Let’s all retire the dancing rabbits and embrace the new marketing conversation. There is a link to a free diagnostic test of an individual’s digital marketing skills on this page. The test was developed by our partner, Digital Marketing Institute.

With the cooperation of Digital Marketing Institute, Logical Operations now offers training organizations the opportunity to offer professional training and certifications in digital marketing. These globally industry validated qualifications, in conjunction with our Google AdWords and Google Analytics curriculum, provide the latest skills and knowledge in digital marketing available.