Danger: shiny marketing toys ahead

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With the recent deluge of digital marketing tools, today's marketer is spoilt for choice with a box full of amazing, wonderful toys to play with. 

I'm a bit of an advocate for experimentation, testing and "marketing R&D". I've gone on record in the past stating that marketing teams should devote a small percentage of their budgets to trying out new approaches, testing things out, failing and learning. But be warned not to be spellbound by bright, shiny new things.

With the advent of social media, content marketing and inbound marketing you'd be forgiven for thinking its time to throw out the old and adopt the new. Forget broadcast, outbound marketing, its all about conversations now right? You'll get better results from a concerted blogging strategy that creates inbound opportunities years after they're created?

Well, yes and no.

As this fascinating case example from Doug Kessler at Velocity Partners shows, sometimes the "old" trumps the new. Here Doug shares that an outbound email and advertising programme outperformed a new wave content marketing programme.

And whilst many find it unpalatable to come terms with the fact, content marketing and its like may not be the right answer on their own. Actually, its all about a blended approach that takes the best of both worlds. As a recent Marketing Pilgrim post put it, "a balance between the ‘tried and true’ and the ‘new and exciting’ should be struck to ensure that marketers are not leaving money on either table."

So don't discount that email strategy out of hand, or ignore direct mail quite yet. Go back to first principles:

  • who do you want to target (audience)
  • what do they want to hear from you (message)
  • where do they get their information (place)

Get that right, and don't worry you'll still get to play with those shiny new toys.