This Ain’t Your Father’s Marketing Anymore


Marketing certainly has its roots in large and expensive campaigns intended to reach as many people as possible. This type of ‘mass marketing’ helped develop corporate branding (e.g. Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup, etc.) but was completely ‘product focused’ and treated all customers as if they had the same needs and buying preferences. Compare this to what the direct marketing folks are now doing with target marketing, relationship marketing, permission marketing, event-based marketing and even location-based marketing.

It’s interesting to see how these different strategies actually evolved.

  • Mass Marketing – The goal here is to reach the largest number of people and ‘hope’ they have interest in your product/service. Mass marketing uses mass media such as TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, etc.  This type of marketing is (was) characterized by big budgets, national campaigns, and very little actual data to measure marketing efficiency.
  • Direct Marketing – Mass marketing was flipped around when direct marketing started directly contacting consumers (using direct mail, telemarketers, etc). This new evolution (around 1960) also was the start of test-marketing to gauge the effectiveness of different advertising campaigns.
  • Target Marketing – Soon after computers became widely used, marketers began gathering data on who was buying their products and why. This led to targeting their promotional strategies directly towards consumers who are most likely to purchase their product. This market segmentation divided up customers and prospects according to their demographics, age, income, etc.  
  • Relationship Marketing – Many businesses realized that it was just as profitable to ‘sell more to each customer’ as it was to ‘sell to more customers’. This led to (around 1990) marketing that communicated with customers ‘as individuals’ with tailored information geared towards their unique buying experiences and preferences.  Obviously this requires lots of data on customer behavior patterns, profiles, etc. which helped launch the development of new business CRM applications and marketing automation tools.  
  • Permission Marketing – As consumers began to get bombarded with email spam, many businesses realized the benefits of spending more time marketing to consumers who have specifically shown interest in your product/service and (effectively) have given you permission to market to them (in a way they want to be marketed to)! This is most commonly done when consumers sign up (i.e. give out their email address) to download product information or receive a newsletter. The importance of having good customer data to personalize your marketing is critical since these prospects can remove their permission anytime (by opting out).     
  • Event-Based Marketing– Imagine someone just supplied their personal information and downloads information about a new vacation resort. This event triggers an marketing automation tool to send out a targeted promotional offer that is customized, timely, informative, and useful. Everyone potentially wins. The consumer gets something they were actually looking for – when they want it!  This type of marketing is heavily Internet focused and relies on good automation tools.  
  • Location-Based Marketing– Now that cell phones have Internet access AND they have embedded location devices (i.e. GPS locators), we can expect to see mobile advertising based on location. Of course this will also be personalized and permission-based but imagine you are leaving work for lunch and you receive a text message with ‘2-for-1 lunch deals’ at restaurants in your immediate area. Over time the system also realizes you prefer Chinese over Mexican, etc.  

Take-aways from this marketing evolution …

Mass Marketing is moving to Relationship Marketing

Few Large Campaigns are moving to Many Customized Campaigns

Product Focus is moving to Customer Focus

Short-Term Revenue is moving to Long-Term Customer Loyalty

Resources …

The CRM Handbook– great book on CRM implementation, especially read Chapter 2 (CRM in Marketing)

Post from BNET on the subject of ‘Broadcast Marketing‘ and why it doesn’t work anymore.


 – Steve  (www.SPMsolutions.NET)

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One Response to This Ain’t Your Father’s Marketing Anymore

  1. Pingback: Collecting Web Leads « SPM Business Solutions

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