In my recent talk to the students at Chapman University's Internet Communications Program, I exhorted this next generation of marketing ninjas to help liberate marketing from the antiquated vocabulary that fosters silos in how we think and act:
- We must reject tired distinctions such as "traditional vs non-traditional" marketing. (There is only traditional thinking...and this is punishable by irrelevance!)
- We must admit that terms such as "new media" represent old thinking. (If you want to make anyone under 25 laugh, refer to mobile as "new media.")
- We must not allow "offline and online" to live in separate silos. (In a world of QR codes and second screen viewing, is anything truly "offline"?)
- We cannot restrict "brand advertising" to mean TV and print. (The Internet is the most powerful branding tool ever. Storytelling. Sight, sound, motion. Peer endorsement. Experiences.)
- We must embrace media as a source of creativity. (How and where a brand appears is as important as what it says.)
- We need to enthusiastically embrace metrics, both hard and soft. (Ignore store traffic and nobody will care about the awareness gain. Similarly, click through rates at the expense of emotional relevance and differentiation will not matter if the brand degrades to commodity status.)
Finally, we must break with the past. Old branding models are out of step with the way in which people consume media and interact with brands. Instead, new models such as Empathic Marketing build brand relationships by mirroring the ways in which people tend to form real, human relationships. These 4Es of real relationships – empathy, experiences, energy and endorsement – form a clear and measurable brand planning model to help marketers create more customer-centered brand platforms. After all, what's true in life is true in marketing.