Marketing Is Changing: Here’s What You Need To Stay Ahead – Now

Huge focus has been given to the political landscape for obvious reasons. That overused term “change” has certainly been in force from the results of the UK and US elections. The ‘experts’ – the ones who have been providing us inaccurate polling data from both sides of the pond – tell us more change is to come. Are they just making things up or simply pumping out stuff they want us to believe? Who knows?

That said, this blog is not about politics. It’s about marketing and there’s something I feel compelled to share with you and encourage you to do something about if you want a decent slice of the pie.

There’s a change happening in the way you’ll need to market your products and services. Being aware of it and, importantly, actually doing something about it will determine the success of your business going forward.

It’s called apathy. You need to take action. Now. #ACCELerate

This is in the context of the definition of apathy being: ‘Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.’

Apathy in marketing? Absolutely – agency and client side.

Marketing is everywhere of course. As it usually involves those trying to entice you to do business with them, including some slick advertising, good content and some nice shiny buttons on-line for you to press! Off-line, there are even certain odours used to draw you in. The cosmetics and food sectors have been doing that for decades anyway so what’s new?

That’s the point – Nothing much.

Location-based augmented reality technology which drives applications such as Pokémon Go can be fun and refreshing for marketers but that alone won’t cut it for achieving incremental sales. Virtual reality technology is currently a fad. No one can find a way for it to generate business for the mass market.

And what about marketing content? Too much noise and ‘samey’ messages.

In the business improvement game for example, “Taking your business to the next level” is an expression often used by those who are trying to attract delegates to their workshops, seminars or similar events. I cannot think of any phrase so overused and bland. To me and many others it gives an expectation that it’ll be an average event. Period.

This is even more direct, so hold your breath: In my view, it’s downright lazy to use such phrases. Not only does it show the organisers being totally uncreative, it also shows they cannot be bothered to think of alternative, refreshing content to entice those who may be looking for a differential. In old market speak “a hook.” The sad thing is many marketers are using this and other bland copy for their events. If you run events, avoid such terms and see this as opportunity to outsmart others by using better content.

When you choose to watch something on YouTube, how many times do you click ‘Skip’ when the commercial is on because you’re completely disengaged within the first 5 seconds?

Remember when the social media experts used to tell us to “engage” before people in your network may consider buying from you? Well many of us tried and not a lot happened so the majority who interacted on forums simply gave up. For example, there’s been a huge drop in genuine engagement within LinkedIn groups over the past couple of years. There are now lots of dormant Twitter accounts, originally started by many who were initially excited at this new way of marketing, but who subsequently gave up. Just look at the dire performance of these once hugely respected social networks anyway.


There are a whole host of reasons why however one big one is because the so called experts did not tell anyone that engagement is a long game. In fact, a very long game that tends to suck precious time. Why? Well, I think it’ll be safe to say that the majority of them, including me, didn’t realise. For the final time here: Why? Because social media was new to all of us. Apart of pre-launch of networks like Google Plus, these social networks landed on us almost at the same time. Anyone remember or even still use Google Plus?

It goes without saying marketing is about a whole lot more that just social media. Despite its title, ACCELerate™ Your Social Media, my book wasn’t just about social media. The reason for that is I’m a firm advocate of what used to be termed ‘multi-channel marketing’, now more commonly referred to as ‘integrated marketing’.

Given the apathy, never has there been a time when integrated #marketing is to play a bigger part than it does today. #ACCELerate

Integrated marketing is about being active in the appropriate on-line and off-line marketing channels relevant to your business – and not just what the latest thing some guru tells you. It’s like having the right mix of ingredients and temperature for baking the kind of cake your prospects and existing customers will buy.

Don’t be disillusioned. If you are even a little bit serious about applying the right strategies (ingredients), your marketing plan should be an integral part of your business plan. Yes, shock horror indeed as I know many of you reading this won’t have that. The majority of my new clients don’t but that’s what I help them with.

Don’t listen to the nonsense churned out by most of the digital agencies. I know the market well and was a part of it before many of these on-line marketers were around. They won’t like me sharing this with you however I can tell you that many of them are struggling. What you usually see is a charade by many agencies that all is going great. Far from it. Their sector is completely saturated and many of them are having to work harder and think of new tactics to protect, let alone gain, market share. Only those with a fully integrated marketing strategy will survive. Many think they have one, however in my view they don’t. So you’re not alone – marketing can be extremely challenging for many of us.

Will a dotcom boom and bust type scenario happen again? No-one knows however what I can tell you is scores of agencies will fall by the wayside as it also comes to one basic fact: Many of us a sick and tired of their way of marketing too. There’s not a lot left that’s new about working in digital marketing or what they offer anymore. Even the term ‘innovation’ is beginning to sound boring as nearly everyone is claiming they are innovative. (You’ll begin to notice how overused that word is now I have pointed it out to you).


John Coupland
John Coupland
JOHN is an independent marketing consultant and is the bestselling author of ACCELerate™ Your Social Media. With extensive experience in e-business and ICT, he helps ambitious entrepreneurs, business owners, and corporates with their business growth using his unique and proven ACCELerate™ methodology. John speaks at leading business events, has written a number of articles for major publications worldwide, and is a member of The Brain Trust®, Small Business Advocate Show®, America. Amongst a number of awards, John played an instrumental role in helping a major UK department store chain achieve the Queen's Awards for Enterprise - Innovation. Learn more at ACCELerate™ Your Business

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