It never fails to amaze me how often people believe that the current “new” new thing has never been done before. For instance, I am amazed at how much music my kids listen to that are remixed versions of “old” songs.
The marketing world too seems to suffer from idea amnesia. So often people get enamored with new ideas that they think are leading edge and never done before. For instance, people think “neural marketing” is something new. Nope. When I was working with P&G or Gillette we called it subliminal advertising. We were all quite well trained in the use of these techniques and I became a master of marketing mind games. So in today’s conversation about neural marketing, the only thing that is “new” is the sophistication of the technology that can be used to track responses.
But I reserve my keenest ire for the new crop of marketers who proclaim the novelty and relevancy of social marketing. I sometimes imagine myself speaking at a tech Web 2.0 conference surrounded by a sea of 20 something’s who feel confident and smug believing that social marketing was created by them and therefore belonged firmly in their domain. Sorry to disillusion you all – but social networking is just a technology definition for what those of us who were in marketing before there was an Internet – would call affinity marketing. You know, “birds of a feather” – that was how we described it to clients. The idea was simple in theory but quite difficult to execute 20 years ago. Today technology has vastly improved the depth and breadth of how we can create groups, but the concepts and strategy that drive these programs are well established.
So remember, embrace the next best thing … but you may want to see who has been there before. A little experience goes a long way.