We recently read that “We are living in a post-advertising world.” The claim was made by John Horsley, director of Digital Doughnut, a global digital marketing community. Horsley should know, so we took notice.
Horsley explained his claim in a LinkedIn group forum: “Conversations have replaced campaigns, engagement trumps reach, and brands are no longer built by above-the-line agencies, but at every touchpoint the business has with its customers. And the thread that links all these elements is social media.” This resonates with us at SMstudy. We have included a lot about touchpoints, engagement and social media marketing in A Guide to the Sales and Marketing Body of Knowledge, also referred to as the SMstudy® Guide.
Horsley was using his claim to incite and invite members of the group to take part in a survey being conducted to explore the current status of companies and social media and contribute to his work “New Report: Social Media’s Impact on Customer Experience.” He says “businesses have been slow to respond, often hampered by outdated structures, siloed thinking and a lack of strategic understanding.” Now, that really resonates with us because we wrote an entire book on Marketing Strategy as one of the six aspects covered in the SMstudy® Guide and we offer certifications in marketing strategy.
His claim did not resonate so well with others, however. One group member commented, “Social media channels are simply another way to touch someone, as is and remains advertising. Effective communications usually consist of multichannel or cross channel strategies.” We had to agree with several points here. Our Digital Marketing book says, “Given the nature of the online world, which is constantly evolving and expanding—new channels are developing with greater frequency, and audiences are continuously exploring new sources of online content—digital marketers must regularly assess and reassess digital marketing channels for their effectiveness and applicability in helping achieve the company’s overall organizational goals and objectives.”
Social media provide many opportunities for delivering messages that advertise. Within Marketing Strategy whole sections have been dedicated to planning and developing social media as well as other digital channels.
The term “posting” (as it is used in advertising) comes not from posting mail but from a time when fences, street lamp poles, telephone posts and any available urban wall space were festooned with advertisements for products, shows, soon-to-arrive circuses and political candidates. When the rampant postings got out-of-hand, a new posting appeared saying, “Post No Bills.” Now, many marketing and advertising messages are being posted online and in social media. Perhaps we should say we’re living in a post-post-advertising world? Well … maybe not.
Another commenter added, “effective marketing communication is always a delicious idea (whatever it might be) served on many different (multichannel) dishes.” And that’s an idea we can relish.