Marketing is dead. Long live marketing

Thomas Marks brings years of marketing experience to his blog "It's All About Content" as the President and Managing Partner of TMA+Peritus. Prior to starting the agency in 1983, Tom was the VP of Marketing and Advertising for Bally Corporation in Chicago. He was also President of Bally's multimillion-dollar in-house ad agency FFC Advertising.

In my 35-year marketing career, I’ve never heard so many people talk about the speed of change that dominates our thinking, our processes, and our conversation. Dare I say the speed of change is the one principle we can agree on after agreeing to disagree on principles that were pretty egregious?

Let’s see, nothing’s quite as egregious, or boneheaded for that matter, as publishers and their “pay wall”; why not hit the customer with two negative words rather than one? This, of course, coming from the folks who believe they’re unmatched in their use of the English language.

Take the family of the deceased man who put a QR code on his gravestone. This brings new meaning to John Donne’s Death Be Not Proud. A soon-to-be deceased marketing tactic for the deceased; I don’t know about you, but it gives me the heebie-jeebies. And what on earth would that QR code link to that wouldn’t be deceased in a few years, anyway? That’s what we need to be thinking about when the trend is to recommend the trendy.

In marketing, we will always need to find the relevance between the businesses that do nothing – and that hasn’t changed because there are plenty of them – and businesses that jump on the latest trend faster than you can say “Pong.” But where is the sweet spot between being indifferent versus inept? Word-up, it’s words, or in the inimitable words of this column’s title, It’s All About Content. From Birth of a Nation to the nation of birthers, content rules. There’s no R.I.P. when it comes to c-o-n-t-e-n-t.

Your business’ Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn profiles, brochures, TV spots, and websites are nothing more than platforms; vehicles without passengers, or a food cart without any food. In order for these platforms to be plats with form, they need content, and not crap-ridden content, either. Call it what you will whenever you were calling it: positioning, branding, relevant differentiation, emotional connection – it’s always been content marketing and always will be. That’s why content marketers are having their way with the successful promotion of goods and services. They’re not bouncing off the walls in search of the next gimmick.

It’s time to take the reins of the newest form of marketing greatness. Introducing content marketing, a 100-year-old discipline with no QR code needed. Long live the stuff that actually lives long.

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