Modern Marketing Left Don Draper Out in the Cold

When you think of modern marketing, what comes to mind? For most people, terms such as social media marketing and content creation might well be near the top of the list. Modern marketing is all about attracting new and repeat customers through inbound channels. Although inbound marketing has become a household term nowadays, the methods of reaching consumers haven’t always worked in the way that they do now.

Take a Quick Trip Down Memory Lane

Outbound marketing methods, such as Volkgswagen’s famous Beetle campaign in the 1960’s, used to work in the past. Outbound marketing’s success is portrayed in shows such as Mad Men, where Don Draper and company sat at the wheel of yesteryear’s advertising sphere. During that time, consumers had fewer choices of what they could purchase and how they could purchase it. Instead of visiting their favorite online shop, they were restricted to the choices at the local shop on the corner.

It was during this time that marketers drove the conversation – they controlled the market, the channels and their messaging. When pairing this environment side by side with the marketing world of today, it’s easy to see how marketing has truly evolved over the years. The notion of marketers driving conversations has now been turned on its head, as over time, consumers gradually began to ignore traditional marketing efforts such as TV commercials, print magazine ads, and direct mail campaigns. Now, it‘s these same consumers who now shape the marketing landscape and influence conversations that take place between brands and their audiences. Consumers have become immune to being told what to buy, and with the internet, now have the power to make informed decisions for themselves.

This shift has caused companies and marketers to realize that they needed to give buyers what they want: relevant, transparent information and grounds for engagement. Companies now use inbound marketing to provide value to their customers and target niche groups with their products and messaging, choosing to develop a smaller yet loyal fan base instead of trying to cater to a larger and less interested population.

What Does This Mean for Today’s Marketers?

Certain methods, such as cold calling and direct mail, have now become largely obsolete. Inbound marketing is now the name of the game, and it’s in the best interest of marketers who are determined to successfully communicate with their target audiences to get a handle on the way that inbound content creation works.

Companies can sharpen their modern marketing skills by practicing the following:

  1. Find a Happy Medium: It’s crucial for businesses to find a proper balance between the quantity and quality of their content. Try creating a posting schedule that is appropriate and feasible for your business in order to help with regulating the frequency and topics of the content you publish. Regardless of the type of content that you put out, it’s important that the material contains high-quality information that is relevant for your readers.
  2. Care About Customer Needs: Always be sure to personalize content to fit the exact needs and wants of your audience members. In the same vein, write in the same way that you would have a conversation with your audience – the tone of your content can influence how your readers resonate with it and how they choose to respond.

  3. Share Content in the Right Places: As quality content is often your first chance to connect with targeted consumers, it’s important that you place pieces in places where your audience members visit regularly. Social media channels, such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn, are reliable sources to share frequent, up-to-date content.

  4. Being Educational rather than Promotional. The content you produce should focus on educating and informing your target audience. By proving that your brand is a thought leader, or expert, in the field builds trust. Consumers have learned to see through ads and do not respond well to fluff and exaggerated statements. People nowadays prefer to find information on their own, either from informative websites or through recommendations and advice on social media. By constantly plugging your product or service, your brand is doing the opposite of building trust, and you will drive many possible customers away.

  5. Finding Your Niche. Most companies starting nowadays do not gain success by targeting a broad audience. In the past, success was measured by reach, and the options were limited. As global communication was broken down by the internet, almost all of the corporate success stories come from companies that targeted a specific niche with their product. Building a smaller, but more loyal and dedicated fanbase. Apple nad GoPro are just two examples of companies that used this strategy, which takes us to…

  6. Start Trending. In the past, most companies tried to latch their image onto cultural trends. Targeting smaller, niche audience with amazing products turned them into trendsetters, which later allowed the company’s brand to spiral outwards. Mordern marketing doesn’t follow trends, it creates them.  

As we move further into the golden age of digital communication, inbound marketing will continue to experience unprecedented growth. With the aforementioned information in mind, try to take a step back, assess your business‘ current marketing methods, and see if you’re taking the proper steps to connect with your target audience members in a successful and modern manner. Don Draper did great in the 60’s, but he would fail in the 2010’s.