I have an ironic smile every time I read an article that says that “the new advertising killed the old good advertising” or “advertising’s lost generation”. And there is another type of article that makes me laugh even harder: the one in which somebody who worked in advertising in the ‘80s or ‘70s talks about how advertising will die one day.
Maybe this article won’t get enough attention and won’t be seen by enough people to have an impact in the industry. But I believe that young marketers and advertisers who will read it will understand that we live in another century, different (and somehow better) than the ‘70s ‘80s or even ‘90s.
I refuse saying that the old advertising dead.
Advertising can’t die, it only reinvents itself from time to time.
The generation of Millennial Marketers
I wrote this headline because I wanted to get your attention. And we all know that the purpose of marketing and advertising is to get the attention of people, right?
Maybe you are in your mid 20’s, or maybe in your mid 30’s. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are a marketer who knows and understands that today’s marketing is more than something you read in Kotler’s book or something you learned in college.
And if you are just like me, I bet that you are sick of hearing from the older one that you need to do this, and this and this. And because they are older than you, that means that they have more experience and knowledge than you do, so you have to shut up and do whatever they tell you to do.
Well my friend, let me tell you this. You are smarter than they are and you are faster than they are. Why? Because if you want an answer for a question you know where to find it, how to look for it and what tools to use fin order to find it. Because you know how to analyze a Google Analytics report or you know what metrics to look at in a Facebook Ads campaign. Or you understand why Snapchat and Instagram Stories are good channels for distribution and engagement.
Even more, you don’t need proofs to know that mobile is the future.
There are specialists who say that the today marketing is digital marketing, others say that it’s growth hacking marketing or other shiny names a new marketing tactic needs.
But if you go to the roots of marketing, you can see that the purpose of marketing is to sell, right? Today, everything you do based on marketing, PR, advertising is selling.
Even if you don’t pay for a space to advertise on, but you do some sort of “hacking the system” and you get new customers, that’s still marketing..
Don’t get me wrong, I love the “Growth Hackers” term. I first read it on Andrew Chan’s blog and he defines it as being
…hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph.
Think about what Hotmail did with their footer signature, or think about how Dropbox made it to the top by creating a simple video and releasing it on Reddit and Digg. After that, they gave their evangelist the space he needed to promote their product. These are some startups who didn’t have big advertising budgets to get new customers, so they worked their way out using creativity and also by growth hacking their communities.
There are the madmen people who always complain that brands like Facebook or Google are taking their places at Cannes by promoting their new VR, AR or other futuristic tools and interfaces. They are intrigued and frustrated about it.
While the other marketers who work at SaaS, startups and other companies who now run the world can’t wait to see what will be the next step in the marketing industry.
The new marketing generation only needs one thing from the old marketing generation: to let them to their jobs as they know best.
You don’t need a marketing degree
…to call yourself a marketing specialist.
You can be a good marketer or advertiser even if you’ve never worked for an advertising agency or you didn’t work in a marketing department. You can start your own blog, your own social media project and make your own advertising.
I learned marketing the hard way. I didn’t major in Marketing and I didn’t finish my master’s degree in Advertising because the teachers over there did not have even 30% of my knowledge. I was expelled because I failed one of my exams and also didn’t re-register for the new year. Why? Because I wasn’t responsible enough to look on their website and see when they update the info about registrations, so I can write them an email.
Hahaha…if in 2016 I need to keep refreshing a website every day so I can re-register, I’d rather pass on that, thank you.
And you know why I earned so much knowledge in marketing? Because I do it on my own. I read the new books and I subscribe to any good marketing website or blog. Whenever I get the chance, I interact with the ones who are already into the new marketing boat.
I’ve connected on Slack with people who are working with top brands, who are using new marketing channels and are good enough for me to learn from their experiences. I’ve done my marketing on my own project and my own blog. If I wanted to know how to promote an event, I organized one myself and I started promoting it by myself. If I wanted to know how to make a profitable blog, I launched a blog and started working harder than the others.
Today you don’t need a marketing degree to call yourself a marketer. You only need experience earned in your own way and that’s it. Marketing and advertising agencies are looking for people who are experienced in a field. And when I say “experience” it doesn’t matter if you succeeded or not, it only matters that you’ve done something that you believed in and that you’ve learned from it.
But none of the above doesn’t mean that the old marketing is dead. Maybe there are businesses who are working well with that kind of marketing, with the 4P’s and other tactics that we consider old.
I don’t want to exclude that kind of marketing.
And my last thought? Well, just let the today marketers do their job and give them the space they need.