3 Broad Impacts the Internet has made on Marketing

The world wide web


I was recently asked to profile three, broad ways the internet has impacted marketing. Here’s my take on it:

The Internet has transformed marketing in a number of ways. Three of the greatest impacts include:

  • Consumers now have the power. Previously, brands had all of the control in terms of messaging. However, with the Internet (“Web 2.0”), that power has shifted back to users. Today, consumers can have conversations about brands, whether the organizations are involved or not. Social media has leveled the playing field, so to speak. Whereas before brands had to rely on what Seth Godin calls “Interruption Marketing,” they have shifted into the area of “Permission Marketing.” Personally, I refer to the former as “self-entitled marketing.” This is why it is also more important than ever for companies to be transparent, authentic, and to create something worth sharing.
  • As the market gets bigger, it gets smaller. While the Internet has opened up global markets for businesses, it’s also created micro-markets or tribes as well. In fact, one of my brands, The Slants, relies entirely on this concept of niche marketing. As I mentioned to American Express Business OPEN, this was made entirely possible through the Internet and social media. Marketers can’t rely on broad advertising anymore, they have to learn how their audiences are and how best to reach them. Just look at the many success stories coming from Kickstarter and you’ll see how small the world really is.
  • It killed push marketing. Let’s face it folks, push marketing is dead. Most companies are transitioning into the idea of “pull” marketing. Businesses must change the lens in which they view their audiences, their own marketing efforts, and their own brand. Rather simply shouting from the mountain tops, the success of marketing today rests on its ability to attract customers and get them talking about their brand. This is what the text refers to in regards to viral marketing (p. 396 of our text) and what marketing guru Dan Heath calls things that are “made to stick.”

It’s easy to get caught up in grand marketing success stories or overnight viral stories (Gangnam Style, Kony, etc.), but in reality, it is much more complex and nuanced than that. Everyday, businesses are succeeding due to the diligent support of their niche audiences. Most of these successes probably would never have been possible without the Internet.

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