Marketing and advertising have been overtaken by their technologies. Early in my career, the Mac Computer brought Adobe software to graphics brilliantly. In fact it became a common complaint by designers that “Anyone with a Mac thinks they are a designer.” i disagreed. It truly made them a designer, just not as effective as one as many seasoned professionals.
That fact has spread to much of marketing and advertising these days. An ability to manage the technology of marketing is replacing the need for strategy. Digital and Social media technology can be more effective quickly than a sound marketing strategy. Sure it isn’t as long-lasting, but in this day of quick results, short lived results aren’t even considered in many instances.
New technologies, incorporating the digital world in almost every instance, can strike so fast, that their immediate results can be mistaken for strong brand building very easily. The ability to gain fast results maximizing digital technology are often considered more effective than a name like Kleenex owning the facial tissue world to the extent that its name means the same as the category. Think of it…Kleenex still means facial tissue, but where has any social media campaign lasted? I can’t even think of one, can you?
Technology is a tool to execute a sound strategy. None of the great marketers of years ago ever led by a technology. They used technologies to move a sound strategy forward. We saw the Marlboro Man in magazines, on billboards and on TV. The strategy was what was important. The tools used to advance it were just tools. It seems that those good at the tools are overtaking the strategists who should be leading campaigns. That is true on all levels. Large and small.