This is the last in a three part series on the evolution of marketing. Parts 1 and 2 looked at fundamental changes in the marketing landscape, Part 3 will look at how marketing is responding to these new challenges.
The Reaction
As with most new technologies, there have been mad rushes to adopt certain channels as the ‘go to’ options for getting customer attention. These rushes have also been followed by the traditional backlash, with businesses not realizing hoped-for returns on their marketing efforts for a given forum. With all this chaos and constantly changing environment, it is challenging for businesses to focus and direct their marketing in the right channels with the right kinds of messages.
In some respects, it is back-to-basics for marketing professionals as they need to re-examine their customers’ wants, needs and habits. What is different are the dimensions of those factors. Now different customers chose different channels for their content. And they even chose different channels for different types of content. For example, someone may read a hard-copy morning newspaper, but then immediately switch to RSS feeds for their industry updates. So a business not only needs to understand the type of customer they want to reach, but also the probable methods for how these customers prefer to consume content related to their products and services.
What Does This Mean?
Marketers need to look at the entire universe of channels and plug into the high value ones with the appropriate messages. And as they do this they need to engage with their customers in a positive dialog. The return on that effort will be valuable, direct customer input along with new messages actually designed by the customers and passed on to their own, expanding networks.
In defense of the legal market, there are some providers proactively approaching the Marketing 2.0 challenge. Even some large firms are actively engaged with Twitter. However, as challenging as marketing has become for the entire market, the late arrival and slow-to-adopt-change nature of the legal profession, means the challenge is rapidly increasing.
Like most aspects of change presented by the New Normal, the legal profession is in great need of ground-up reassessment of its marketing practices. Starting on this now (or yesterday) would be a good idea.
This concludes the three-part series on Marketing 2.0. We explored the shift in marketing power from provider to customer and the qualitative change from one-directional messaging to a chaotic conversation. With change becoming a constant, we can expect further dynamic shifts in the role and purpose of marketing.