The difference between marketing now and marketing then is that marketers, or marketeers as I like to call them, had complete control when television, print and radio were kings. Spinning fables of AMAZING products and services was commonplace with no need for any supporting evidence. There was much self-directing freedom and independence from ethics in marketing with little fear of accountability. When the products or services didn't deliver on their hype, as often was the case, consumers had little means to effectively challenge the all powerful. And word of mouth spread far too slowly for anything to be done to correct them. Marketeers reigned supreme, like Dictators. That's not to say that there was no truth in advertising or that it was all bad, but rather that it was the norm to overstate, exaggerate and skew. It became an accepted presumption of lies.
Two things have powerfully effected this today. With the introduction of the internet, the new marketing, consumers have the ability to respond instantaneously and virally and the ability to turn their back; to ignore. With so much coming at consumers in this viral age not getting a market share of attention can cost you business, but getting consumer attention in a negative way can cause your empire to crumble.
Landor.com said it best in their post Marketing's Last Stand, "We have come full circle: The new-school digital discourse around attention scarcity meets the old-school requirements for credibility, relevance, and differentiation. The Internet will not kill marketing; it will force us to fix it. Every brand that wants to be a part of this future will need to take a long hard look at itself and find new ways to provide real value." They further state, "Marketing can no longer masquerade as credible and relevant. Any marketing that falls into the old-school habit of making the trivial look and feel important will be filtered out, not only by individuals but also by the hyper-connected societies they belong to."
Consumers have found an authoritative voice and they're broadcasting through social media. They're giving us vast amounts of tremendously useful information about their wants and needs, likes and dislikes. So powerful is the information that it creates industry trends and motivates new business development. But strangely enough many marketeers are still not listening. They get caught up to their old tricks (blatantly illustrated in the photos to the right). As a result, new businesses have been born on the internet that report the "new rule " breakers, such as, Oyster.com - the hotel tell-all.
The lesson to be learned here is tell the truth. Don't exaggerate your worth. If your beaches are crowded market your popularity and your proximity to main attractions, not your pristine, secluded beaches. Lies will hurt you. If you're not the Ritz Carlton don't pretend to be. Mom and pop places have a value and a target customer. Market directly to them. Artificially inflate your worth and you will be avoided and scorned.
Embracing the new marketing may not be easy, but it is good if you have genuine value. For one thing, it levels the playing field. Stripping the false hype and allowing your products or services to stand against your competitions for what they truly are. Find that value and flaunt it! Emphasize a relevant differentiation for your brand. Take that long hard look and discover a newfound sense of responsibility. Your brand credibility could be something you've forgotten or undervalued. Once you find it, market it with true conviction!