Marketing Channels Don’t Die, They Evolve
Marketing is a fickle profession to say the least. Everything we do, every advertisement, every press release, every product is laid bare to the ever-changing mood of public opinion. Our job as marketers is to leverage what we know about societal behaviors to help clients sell and grow their business. Many aspects of our profession are constantly changing. Shifting to fit the current public mood. One of these aspects, and by no means the least, is marketing channels. Channels are how and where we advertise. Television, internet ads, and email advertising are all channels.
It’s no surprise that some well-known marketing channels have fallen by the wayside in the last decade or two. One of the most prominent being the newspaper industry. We all have watched as one of the safest bets on Wall Street slowly deteriorated to television news stations and the advent of internet news. Here in Denver and the rest of Colorado, we are no strangers to seeing popular papers’ subscriptions decline. However, newspapers still exist across the country. And some may say are beginning to thrive again, from a certain point of view. That raises the question will the industry ever truly die, and what does this mean for other industries that have fallen by the wayside?
Now, this may be a bit of a controversial opinion, and if you want to prove me wrong, please do! I’d love to chat about it (I am a marketing nerd after all). But I believe that marketing channels never die, no matter how unused they may seem. They just change in how they are used.
Think about it. Newspapers (to keep with our illustration) were just part of the news media industry that moved online. If we were looking to reach savvy readers who try to be aware of current events, we would move our advertising efforts to television newscasts and news websites like cnn.com and c-span.org. Nowadays, newspapers focus more on in-depth reporting with quality journalism by trusted sources. Folks who like that kind of news will always be around, and will likely always have a subscription to a paper. The ad channel didn’t die, it just turned into a niche marketing tactic.
A similar story may be told for radio. Far gone are the days companies produced entire programs just to get their name out there. More recently it’s been about fitting a quick and dirty commercial in between music blocks. Even that has been falling by the wayside as web-based radio streaming has grown. Pandora, Slacker, Spotify, I Heart Radio, and Sirius XM are where the listening trend is. Again, the channel didn’t die. It just moved online.
It takes some creativity, forecasting and lucky guesswork to see a “dying” marketing channel for the potential opportunity it is. Even then, just about anything can be converted into a successful marketing channel if it is executed well enough. Clever tactics and an understanding of the audience comes out on top every time.
“Great Execution is the Ultimate Differentiator” – Margaret Molly