July 1, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Madison Avenue, the Heart of Traditional Media

BY John Paul Narowski IN Sales and Marketing 0 Comment

mad-menThanks to Mad Men, we all have an intriguing image of what goes on behind the scenes at big advertising firms. Sure, the days of smoking, drinking and flagrant sexual harassment in the office are probably gone but the big budgets, art departments and well crafted pitches still dominate.

Once upon a time, you couldn’t get your message out unless you had a long line of zeros on a check to get you some serious advertising muscle. While this form of advertising has done well for decades and continues to dominate the market, technology is bringing about a revolution. Like all innovative changes, it starts off small but gains momentum and eventually captures the attention of the titans of industry.

E-Marketing Makes a Difference

The internet and more specifically social media is taking the focus off of traditional, large scale advertising campaigns and making everyone from small businesses to multinational corporations stand up and take notice. Social media is based on the concept that all people can have equal access to information and share ideas with one another. This is radically altering the way a lot of people do business and especially how they advertise.

It’s not enough for a company to build an awesome car and put up a bright shiny web page with all the Flash graphics that you could possibly handle. People want to interact and find out more about the car, or any other product for that matter, on a personal level. This is why you now see Twitter campaigns, Facebook fan pages and a variety of other social media services receiving a bunch of attention from corporations and advertisers.

Build A Conversation, Level the Field

People just don’t want to be sold to – they want to take part in something and they want to share. Social media fanatics are willing to share very minute details of their lives on the internet; what they are doing, watching, eating, thinking, and everything else you never knew you didn’t want to know about. So, if someone finds an awesome product or service they like sharing it with their friends. The social media element to it all is just second nature.

Social Success = Business Success

social-media2All of this doesn’t only level the playing field; it drops an missile with multiple nuclear warheads on it! With free social media accounts, a basic web site and the right marketing tactics anyone can create and run a business, selling pretty much anything out there. The days of the “mom and pop” store not being able to compete with the corporate behemoths are fading. Now, it’s the corporations who are worried about the social media influencer running a business from abasement.

Being an owner of several web based businesses, I can personally attest to the power of the internet and social media. With a little hard work and the right know how, you have just as much of a shot as dominating the first page of Google as anyone else. Not only has technology made the world smaller, it’s helping the business world become more accessible to everyone.

No Time Like the Present

If you’re interested in utilizing the Internet and social media to promote or start a business then there is no better time. More people visit Facebook every day than Google; even my VHS tape-watching grandma has a Facebook page! The barriers to entry are low and the potential rewards are staggering.

In the end, there is no magic bullet or secret that will let you sit on a beach somewhere while the internet makes you money hand over fist. It requires hard work, research and perseverance but it can be done. Simply put, social media marketing has radically altered how we all look at business, advertising and the world around us.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

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