Is marketing dead? - Broadley Speaking

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

14th August 2012

Is marketing dead?

Broadley Speaking - Is Marketing Dead?

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Bill Lee has laid down the law, giving three reasons why traditional marketing methods are most definitely dead.

  1. Buyers are no longer paying attention, because their “decision journey” has changed.
  2. Marketing officers lack business credibility, and the ability to generate sufficient business growth.
  3. The increasing dominance of social media has made it harder for marketers to align themselves with their buyers’ interestes; as exclusive communties are built online between consenting business-t0-business parties, how can external marketing agencies hope to win their buyers’ attention, time, interest and business?
“Traditional” marketing?

Lee’s article appears to herald the immediate liquidation of traditional marketing operators everywhere. But then – is there such a thing as “traditional (tele)marketing” anymore? Certainly not at Broadley Speaking.

According to  recent studies, traditional marketing communications just aren’t relevant anymore. A buyer’s decision journey takes a far different route in the second decade of the twenty-first century. Buyers are finding their own  way to business solutions, it says, through the internet and word-of-mouth customer reviews. Certainly, these can be very effective (and it is how many of our clients find Broadley Speaking initially). However, most of our clients want to take a more proactive approach to generating new business opportunities. Which is why they value Broadley Speaking as an outsourced extension of their internal sales team. We have the time and the man-power they can’t spare, and we reach out to their existing and prospective industry customers with holistic sales approaches which capture the hard-won attention of their prospective buyers.

To counter Lee’s second point, then.  The evidence speaks for itself: one of our clients in the building materials sector has recently credited Broadley Speaking as a central part to their 450% increase in marketing generated leads over a 4 year period. Another client in a very complex industry sector has revealed that they had not generated a new opportunity from cold in 10 years;  within 10 months of working with the Broadley Speaking team, they had 15 new business propects.

The sales teams at Broadley Speaking are the epitome of business credibility.

Finally, the increasing dominance of social media. Lee argues that, in this new business environment, traditional marketing and sales “does not make sense”. To ignore the importance and potential efficacy of social media in b2b communications is short-sighted and foolhardy, to be sure. But to ignore more “classical” approaches in its favour is equally so. Telemarketing may use one of the oldest of communication technologies – second only for some to the plastic cups and string across an alleyway – but there is nothing “traditional” about Broadley Speaking’s sales approach. Our account managers have unscripted, intelligent and informed conversations with senior decision makers in multinational companies. They immerse themselves in their client’s company and product or service, going the extra mile (sometimes all the way t0 Slovakia) to understand their brief to Broadley Speaking, and their proposal to their prospective customers.

The comments on Lee’s article illustrate the contention of his opening statement, “Marketing is dead”. Marketing is changing, certainly. But to pronounce its passing is to cut you and your business off from some of the most qualified business leads you could find; particularly if supposesdly “un-credible” marketing officers are bright enough to pick up the phone.

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