“Respect your Elders” BY YOU HERE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In the article, “Respect your Elders” by Tom Stein and Tim Devaney, the authors attempt to illustrate that traditional marketing efforts are still highly relevant for achieving marketing success over that of modern methods such as using social media. Statistically speaking, and through the utilization of case study examples, Stein and Devaney show that small businesses still reap the rewards of higher levels of consumer responsiveness to direct mailing strategies, television and other print advertisements as promotional tools.
The article asserts that consumers tend to find online advertising annoying and have become desensitized to the plethora of different banner ads serving as promotional tools for marketers in the digital environment. Traditional postcards, however, have much higher ratios of retention and consumers are more engaged with their content and purpose. Many businesses are finding a much higher return on marketing investment through traditional marketing practices and strategies which suggests that old-school marketing is still highly relevant in the process of gaining consumer interest and attention to a product, service or corporate brand identity.
Modern methods of marketing are not always effective as compared to tried and tested traditional marketing activities. This does not seem highly surprising considering that the majority of Facebook users, as one example, utilize this service as a social recreational tool and not as a medium by which to engage companies and examine brand strategies. Marketers must remember that not all consumer demographics are actively engaged in social media and the Internet on a regular basis, such as Baby Boomers and those younger markets that maintain very busy social and professional lifestyles. Therefore, digital marketing is not always effective in reaching consumers on a regular basis.
In fact, a 2012 study conducted by Nielsen and NM Incite found that only 12 percent of white consumers and 18 percent of African American consumers actually make purchases after witnessing online advertisements in a social network (Consoli, 2012). Though modern marketing theory indicates that building relationships with customers is a critical marketing task to build brand preference and loyalty, the majority of disparate market segments only utilize social media for a brief period of time each day or week.
Traditional marketing efforts, such as sending direct mailing advertisements, actually reach into the consumer environment and can be sent with recurring price promotions and other incentives, hence building a long-term relationship that is difficult to achieve when consumers who utilize social media are bouncing from one site to another. Furthermore, it is difficult to target consumers in social media while using direct mailing due to their disparate activities in a variety of interests and domains. Direct mailings as a promotional tool, especially when consumers have made previous purchases with the marketer, serve as a behavioral segmentation tool that can provide relevant integrated communications to gain their attention.
The largest lesson learned is that companies should not be abandoning traditional marketing efforts in favor of digital marketing. Online marketing has already earned a negative reputation for consumers who swat away banner ads that they find irritating or irrelevant. Businesses can gain from using age-old promotional tools in equal or greater proportion than attempting to jump on the proverbial band wagon of progressive online marketing.
Consoli, J. (2012). As Social Media usage Grows, Consumer Shopping Patterns make it Easier
for Marketers to Target them, Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved February 3, 2014 from