Marketing channels are so much a part of business that the question “Have marketing channels become irrelevant?” seems a bit threatening to those of us who are marketing for a living. But when Paige O’Neill asks the question on Marketing Pilgrim, she is making a point:
“I’d like you to think about how your marketing strategy might change if you thought less about channels and more about the overall customer experience you’re delivering.”
The evolution of marketing is being driven by the technology that puts the power in the hand of the consumer — smartphones and other digital devices mean a customer can access a business all across the marketing channels. What’s more, that customer expects a seamless, integrated experience, both on and off the internet.
From developing a mobile-responsive website to coordinating all your marketing channels into one experience by connecting the silos, it takes a paradigm shift because things are changing and we have to keep up.
The Basics Haven’t Changed
Whether it’s multi- , omni-channel, or whatever new thing comes along — marketing is still the same in the basics. It’s about understanding your customer and reaching them in a way that engenders a positive response. As technology changes we have better ways of doing this, but the idea is always connecting with the customer and getting a positive response.
In that sense, marketing channels have always been “irrelevant” in the same way that any tool is irrelevant: the tool is used as a means to an end, not the end itself. But tools are very relevant because they must be the right tool for the job and built to do the task you need it to do.
What do you think about this idea? Are marketing channels irrelevant and customer experience the new thing, or is this just semantics?