Jul 04, 2017
Does anyone actually develop photos anymore? I was wondering that when I was standing in line at the photo store at the mall the other day, waiting to pick up my pictures. Maintaining physical photos is definitely a lot of work, despite being able to FTP the files to the store from the comfort of my home (after uploading them to Facebook, of course). I still have to go to the mall to pick them up (unless I want them delivered, but that costs a lot…and it seems a little indulgent). Then we have to sort them (by “we,” I mean my spouse) because they never come back in chronological order. Then she puts them into physical albums (most people don’t make it this far). And since the albums are large and numerous, storage is an issue.
It turns out that macro spending trends on photo development and accessories like printers, photobooks, etc., are steady and projected to rise. So why do we “make” pictures? Even Grandma is online now. Isn’t Facebook/Twitter/Flickr/Picnik/PicPlz/Snapfish/Burstn/Photobucket/Shutterfly enough?
Clearly not. So much for old vs. new. Seems like old AND new are working together.
It turns out that a similar situation has arisen in the marketing world. As social media/digital marketing hypnotizes us with the light-speed advancements of technology and access, the discussion of the value (or lack thereof) of “traditional” marketing (which I define broadly as “the 4 ‘P’s,” segmentation, etc.) is ramping up.
Social media and the digital revolution (and its measurability) are all the rage. In fact, the ability to spout social seems to have overtaken management acumen and/or actual creativity as the number one desired skill set for any marketing guru to possess. And while I completely agree that there is a clear need to be shiny, engaged and measurable, a well-rounded marketing communications strategy cannot depend on such things alone.
Social media is a new, powerful tool in the so-called marketing toolbox. But it is not the only tool.
An effective marketing and communications strategy does not dispense of traditional marketing tactics, but rather builds on them. While we know that potential customers now have more options than ever to “check us out” before actually inquiring, continuing to focus on finding the right potential customers – by using the elements of traditional marketing – is an important part of the strategy as well. And, in this environment of massive information overload, we still need to help our customers find us.
In short: Those who kneel at the altar of social media and reject the old ways are missing the point. The key to success is integration of online and offline efforts to maximize the strengths of both.
Dave Freeman is a marketing communications professional with more than twenty years of leadership experience in companies of all sizes, with particular expertise in lead generation and management, marketing operations management, turnaround management, marketing/advertising, brand research and management, public relations, and communications metrics and analytics.