Fire the Marketing Department

We’re about to hit a tipping point in Canada.  Yes in Saskatchewan as well but I presume it will be a short time after Canada tips.  Stories like this one, about how Canadians for the first time are on the internet more than television should mean a lot to marketers.  The minds behind the marketing industry should be doing more to accommodate the shift.  They’re not.

I think it’s a generational issue as well as somewhat of an egotistical issue.  If you’ve been doing something for a long time and it has worked, no HBR blog post, University of Massachusetts study, or book is going to convince you to change.  More examples of closer to home success stories will be the TSN turning point in this battle.  But if you’re waiting till your competitor gets on Twitter to make the shift from advertising in the Sunday Sun to online, think again.  The companies that get in early to understand the media will be the ultimate winners in the end.

Large ad agency’s aren’t nimble enough to change their strategy and it seems as if they may be left behind with the billboards and newspapers of the old World.  The smart companies are testing the waters and doing their research, asking why before adopting an online platform.

For younger marketers this opens up a large opportunity in a very undiscovered and underdeveloped medium, the internet.  Soon a marketing department’s most valuable person is not the VP who’s been around for 30 years, it’s the new hire that develops iPhone apps at home in her spare time, who has a vast understanding of new media.  This younger generation understands  that you can not buy your way to a success using mass media anymore (re: Pepsi trying to force upon Canada’s chant, “Eh Oh, Canada… I don’t think so”)

Organizations now have to be accountable and transparent because of the near real time communication we have, this should be a positive externality but many companies still view it as a negative.  If your organization fits in this category your best option may be to fire the marketing department altogether.

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