Is the Web Dead? The Shift for Marketers

Just when you think you’ve “got it” in terms of consumer behavior and ways to reach people with marketing messages, a shift happens or is that “@#$%” happens?

Recently, one of my favorite bloggers, Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation, ran a couple posts about a September 2010 article in Wired with the title, “The Web is Dead.” This gave me a mental jolt because as a marketing consultant, I spend countless hours figuring out ways to reach consumers for my clients, especially online or through e-marketing.

The main thrust of the article and his posts was that web browsing has been taken over by mobile apps. He even mentioned that there were more mobile devices purchased late last year than PCs, so that speaks to huge change.

The issue is mobile phones have allowed us to do more because of the Internet connection. Consider how often you actually use your phone to call someone! Instead, you probably use it for getting email, checking and posting to Facebook, driving directions with GPS, texting to get a hold of someone who won’t pick up a phone call, and Googling an answer for a question in a conversation with someone. Oh, and for that QR code for information or quick pic or video to capture a memory!

How can marketing keep on top of this rapidly changing landscape to get brand awareness and lead generation churning? The flood of content, the proliferation of mobile apps, and the popularity of social media have all made it increasingly difficult for marketers to get their messages heard, ads watched, and websites visited. Two things to consider from my perspective:

Maintain consistency with established channels. Don’t just drop direct mail, e-mail and media strategies to chase the newest social media networks or mobile apps. Remember that you have built an awareness of how you communicate that is expected and accepted by your customers/members.
Explore new ideas online, in social media and in mobile, but still keep one foot in your marketing plan. If you jump too far afield, you may end up missing communication with a vast majority of your customers/members. Many consumers do not want ads on their mobile phones or to have their Facebook wall full of brands trying to be buddies. Using the foundation of marketing communication to keep contact with the core and layering on new media helps keep the revenues coming in while testing new strategies.

What do your marketing instincts tell you?

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