A collegue has been reading The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott. The ideas this has inspired have led us to previous debates we had about new media and the use of social networking versus having a comprehensive marketing mix; one that allows old media to support and promote new media functions.
Some argue that television, radio and even print designs like newsletters, brochures and direct mail are dead. As a graphic designer and someone from the “old-school” of marketing and PR, it would be pretty upsetting if this is true.
I don’t believe old media is dead. It is aging and in transition, but I believe it can work as a bridge from old to new media platforms and anything that comes after. On a national level or in a medium to large market where the technology base is generally at a higher level, I can understand his argument better. But in smaller, local markets, attempting to use nothing but blogs, podcasts and social marketing and other forms of new media aren’t as practical. I recently had a client who had her own domain name with a small site up but she was still using an old email address that wasn’t connected to her domain. She didn’t know she could have a domain supported email and didn’t understand the value of this simple way to market her website. She is typical of the type of clients I’ve found in smaller markets. Once she made this small change and started promoting it through a hand-delivered postcard and business card – and through an email campaign, she had a big jump in hits and new leads.
Many of the small market business people I’ve met don’t want to meet online – it’s not that they don’t know it’s there, they don’t really care. It’s good for follow up but, for many small markets, it is more about social networking – the face-to-face kind found through community, social and business organizations or even through the dreaded cold call.
While I do believe new media and social networks will continue to gain prominence in the future, making traditional media outlets a jumping off point to new media and an extended customer experience seems like a smarter and safer prospect. I look forward to continuing this debate as I try to find a way to merge my traditional media outlook to a new media perspective.