Marketing is NOT Dead

marketing is not dead

It seems like recent trend in attention grabbing headlines is to make boisterous prognostications about the future of marketing and advertising, specifically that traditional marketing is dead.

It’s an easy concept to grab onto.  Find a few fortune 1,000 companies with recognizable brand names who’ve filled out some survey projecting increased spending on social media marketing and the point is validated.

Who wouldn’t want a read an article titled, Marketing is Dead.”

It’s a divisive idea within the marketing industry.  Traditional marketing and advertising tactics are how a vast majority of today’s marketers got their chops

After listening to a few expert opinions and examining the marketing initiatives of my own small business I decided it was time to make my own boisterous prognostication:

Marketing is not dead, it simply doesn’t work the way it used to.

I would agree that traditional marketing done the traditional way is dead.  The Connected Generation hates traditional marketing…

…actually it’s worse than that.  The Connected Generation doesn’t just hate traditional marketing, Connected Generation consumers have been so inundated their entire lives by traditional marketing tactics both online and offline their brain simply ignores ads.

You know how some times when you’re driving a road you’ve driven a thousand times, say your route home from the office, you’ll blank out and all of the sudden you snap back into the world and you can’t remember the last 10 minutes of driving?

No matter how hard you try you can’t remember.

Did I pass someone?  

Was a speeding?  

What the hell was I doing?

Your brain having performed the routine so many times, stopped functioning on an active level and your consciousness was able to focus on something else.

This is how the Connected Generation surfs the Internet. 

Think about if every piece of media you consumed for entire life was associated with advertisements, your brain, (just like it does with when you’re driving home from work for thousandth time), turns the ads off without you knowing.

Traditional forms of advertising and marketing have become routine to the Connected Generation consumers brain.

Subconsciously our brain is doing us a solid and turning them off.

Think about this:

You surf Google every single day.

Do you see the ads?

I don’t.

Now think about Facebook.

Can you remember one ad listed on the right hand side of your news feed?

I can’t.

Now newspaper sites.

Name one company with a flash ad on your favorite online newspaper?

No idea.

The longer we spend online the more our brain ignores advertisements.

Our brains simply don’t have the capacity to process all the advertising information thrown at us.  To combat this, our brain doesn’t waste time remembering the ad, it just moves on.  (read How Your Brain Deals With Google and Facebook Ads for more on this).

Traditional marketers and advertisers understand this concept, so their only option is to interrupt us.

Interruption Marketing is based on the belief that if we separate enough people, enough times from what they are doing and interject our latest discount, product or feature a  few of these people, in that exact moment, will have a need and purchase.

Which I guess sounds like it could work, except who the hell wants their life interrupted so someone can sell us something?

That’s value to the advertiser, not value for the consumer.

How many videos on sites like the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and Yahoo have you NOT watched because they force you sit through a thirty second commercial before the content you actually wanted to see?

For me it’s everyone.  I don’t care how hard the guy got kicked in the balls, the small laugh is not worth a thirty second car commercial.  Thirty second car commercials are the reason that I stopped watching TV all the time.

Interruption marketing is dead or at least dying quickly.


The entire game changes when we start marketing to individuals and businesses who already attach some level of value to our brand.

Here’s a confession.  I lied before. I can actually remember three ads from the right sidebar of my Facebook news feed:

The reason I can remember these three traditional advertisements is because I attach value to all three brands.

I think Neil Patel is a genius Internet entrepreneur and marketer, I work with Travelers Insurance every single day and Infusionsoft is revolutionizing the customer experience we provide at my insurance agency.

Traditional marketing and advertising techniques including interruption marketing are dead, unless that individual already considers your brand valuable.  When you’ve already established a relationship with the consumer then the advertisements become communications.

How You Implement Traditional Marketing to the Connected Generation

1) Facebook Promoted Posts

Facebook promoted posts

I use Facebook Promoted Posts quite a bit in my insurance agency marketing.  But I only use promoted posts for people who already like our page, never Friends of Fans.  Friends of Fans is an interruption, but a promoted post to our current friends is just a communication. {for more on Facebook advertising listen this Jon Loomer podcast episode}

Certainly don’t promote every Facebook post you publish but things like:

These are all great promoted posts.  The goal with a Facebook promoted post is to beat Edgerank and get your message in front of consumers who already value your brand.

2) Google+ Email Notification

Google+ email

Be very careful with this one.  I almost never use this, in all honestly I may have used it twice.  By clicking the check box to email your circles you will be sending an email to people who have NOT opted into receiving emails from you.

Technically, by using Google+ they did, but that is not going to be the perception of the person who receive the emails from you.

Emailing your circles is definitely interruption marketing in it’s purest form.  However, if you have established brand value and the message is relevant both in subject matter and timeliness then emailing your Google+ circles can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool.

Abusing this feature will get you un-circled and potentially blocked in no time… especially by me.

Marketing is NOT Dead

Marketing is not dead it just doesn’t work on consumers who haven’t previously attached any value to your brand.

This is why an active content marketing strategy is so vital to new business growth.  Content marketing is how we make ourselves available to new relationships.  Traditional marketing can then be used to notify and communicate with those relationships.

It’s a very important distinction and why I firmly believe that marketing is not dead, just different.

Thank you and Good luck,

I am Ryan Hanley and if you enjoyed this article you’ll love the Content Warfare Newsletter, get it here.

SPEAK YOUR MIND: Is marketing truly dead?  Do the tactics I outlined turn off current clients? How do you communicate with current clients?