Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Moving Back, Moving Forward

It is really pretty amazing to see how the media industry and communications technology has progressed, and in some cases regressed, over a few short years.

I was going through an old email file the other day and I stumbled across an old project that a friend and I started about six years ago. We established a wiki and we each contributed periodically with thoughts on all things digital as they related to marketing, advertising, social and corporate communications. We went back and forth for months and met over breakfast every other week to discuss our online volleys. It was fun and pretty productive to have focused sessions like that with someone who was as into the industry, if not more so, than myself.

Well, as I hit the link to revisit the Wiki, relatively untouched five years later, I was pretty entertained by the postings. It was very interesting to see how things had progressed in our industry, but really some things haven't. The tools, hardware, terminology, software, bandwidth and more has evolved seemingly decades in a few short years. What hasn't changed? Principals, foundational strategy, how to use digital channels in a strategic/successful way, how to understand your audience and how to be a benefit, not a nuisance. Offering value, not offering a slightly less palpable alternative to spam. Listening, not yelling. Basically good old fashioned marketing sense.

Bad marketing still is ineffective no matter what new technology you are "leveraging." Sorry had to work in that tired cliche. Good marketing principal and relevance to your "crowd" still works, no matter the technology you have at your disposal.

Yeah, the channels are more sophisticated, the ability to wow greater and the pinpointing is finer, but ultimately the best product or services win no matter the shiny marketing object du jour. The old rules still apply, deliver a relevant, quality and valued product and/or service and know how to deal with your customers. Technology can make that whole process more efficient and effective but only if you address the basics first.

I know this is not nearly as fun to read as the "Top 10 things that will kill Twitter" or "How you can become a social media rock star overnight." Medicine never tastes as good as candy but it heals you much quicker.

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