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Liz Jaques 

Traditional marketing is dead

Royal Mail logo

Marketing and media have to change and consumer engagement has to become the focus for judging future campaign success, according to a new white paper by Martin Hayward, Patrick Barwise and Alan Mitchell.

In future, successful marketing campaigns will need to focus on three key things - relevance, response and restraint, the report says. It predicts that within the next ten years, the industry will see the death of 'the line' as distinctions between traditional media and marketing functions continue to blur.

The Royal Mail-commissioned report outlines the following new rules, which are set to shape marketing communications towards 2020:

  • Data will be plentiful, but needs to be gained from the consumer upfront and employed in a responsible manner. Understanding and earning consumer permission regarding marketing will be paramount
  • Analogue communication will provide standout in a digital world - in the next five years marketing directors expect the proportion of advertising spend on direct mail to increase along with online, mobile, and social media
  • Relevant targeting will become easier as a result
  • Measurement will improve as media channels become much more accountable
  • Costs of marketing communications will fall due to less wastage and marketing budgets may shrink as a result
  • The reliance on creative execution to create standout will be reduced as more campaigns are delivered with the right message, to the right person, in the right way

A further key driver for future marketing success includes avoiding over-intrusion, which may threaten to undo improved relevance and efficiency. The report also sees a development for media planning away from a channel-driven approach towards audience mapping.

Hayward says that many of the barriers that have prevented more-effective marketing have now been removed by the increasing digitisation of everyday life and improved insights from continuous and unobtrusive direct contact with consumers.

The report outlines that accountability of marketing channels will dramatically improve, as marketing spend migrates ever more rapidly into direct and accountable channels. As distinctions between media channels blur and converge based on technology and consumer interaction, traditional definitions of marketing, such as Above and Below-the-Line, will become irrelevant.

"The current 'push' model of marketing is becoming ever more obsolete as consumers have become more used to control over the media they choose to consume," Hayward said. "Technology has empowered the individual and they are no longer forced to endure irrelevant communications.

"If recent developments in consumer interactions with marketing are any judge, the rulebook needs to be ripped up. Marketing and media have to change: engagement with the individual has to become the focus for judging campaign success."

To access the full report, click here.

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