Canadian Business’ Paul Brent recently suggested in Dewing It Alone that the power of social networks could render traditional marketing departments obsolete. It certainly seems to be putting the nail in the coffin.
Marketing spend is rapidly shifting online as businesses are realizing they can get more bang and reach through the Internet. To be sure, the Internet has already killed the old music institution and transformed TV. Case in point: the appeal and effectiveness of traditional 30-second commercials are fading fast, and new players and methods are taking over.
Consider PropStar, which provides product placement services — or, as they call it, brand integration — so companies can get their goods promoted in movies, TV shows, music videos, celebrity parties, and more. The parent company recently launched OppTrak, which offers an online directory for the DIY types looking to get Brad Pitt to flash their fashion, or knock back their beer. These guys are ahead of the curve.
Likewise, marketing agencies that are tapping into the likes of Facebook and Twitter are helping to secure their future, and their clients’ ongoing success.
The Canadian Business article notes Toronto-based brewer Labatt was delighted to find a hard-core Facebook community of drinkers campaigning for Bud Light Lime to be brought to Canada, and decided to mobilize them. They opened up communications with thousands of fans, engaged them, and created a major buzz. Smart agencies are devising, employing and monitoring these types of tactics.
Following Bud Light Lime’s social media success, Richard Musson, Vice-President of Marketing for Labatt, stated: “It does raise huge question about, you know, could you in the future have half the marketing budget and do it differently.”
Indeed; that’s the beauty of the Internet. It’s fast, interactive, has vast reach and is extremely cost effective. Companies and agencies that don’t take advantage of it will be left in the dust.