The other day, I came across an interesting article from December 2009 stating that 25% of the United States population has a cell phone in their home, but no landline. And what surprised me even more is that this number has doubled in the last 3 years. At first I was amazed that any industry can suffer such a quick market share drop in 3 years, not even considering the prognosis for the future, but then I started thinking of the current day marketing situation.
Back in the day, when I first decided to make the grown-up leap from my parent's home into the world of rent and mortgage payments, I didn't get a landline. Just like the 25% of Americans mentioned in the article, I'm part of the cell-phone-only household and have been for the last 10 years. When initially making that decision, thoughts of wasting money on a medium that would provide an additional outlet for telemarketers to "bug" me was the primary reason for my decision and I know I'm not alone in that thought process. As an average consumer I was trying to eliminate unnecessary bombardment by what in my thoughts were "useless" marketing solicitations (by the way at the time I was in the process of completing my marketing degree.) After all, we're bombarded by some 6000 marketing messages a day. Who can blame us for wanting some peace and quiet?
Now, after all this rambling, you probably want to know what my point is. Well, all of this thinking led to this thought. The idea of modern day marketing is changing very quickly and approaching marketing the old-fashioned way is no longer an option. The advertising media that most of us grew up with such as telephone marketing, newspapers, phone books and other print media are becoming, if they are not already, obsolete. Just think back to the early 1900's—things like appliances, services, groceries, beauty products and general household items were all sold and marketed by door-to-door "salesmen". This is a perfect textbook example of a marketing/sales approach that worked at the time, but would never fly in this day and age. Imagine what GE's quarterly profits would show if their marketing/sales approach consisted of a sales team that knocked on doors asking you if might need a new dishwasher. All I can say is Jack Welch would not be writing a book titled 'Winning'.
In order to "win" in the modern business world, whether it's simply staying in business, showing a profit and growing, or positioning your business for a successful future, taking an "old age" approach to marketing is not an option. Every business needs to rethink where they spend their marketing dollars and how they position their overall businesses marketing strategy. Spending your business dollars on old marketing media without any online presence simply means you're not thinking into the future. This does not mean that businesses should drop all of their current "old age" marketing efforts and move all the advertising dollars online. What I'm saying is, if your long-term goal is to continue to grow your business, show profit, and reach a target market with higher discretionary incomes, then developing a new marketing strategy that breaks through the advertising clutter and fits the "modern age" is the key.