Advertisers and marketers alike are aware that with or without them, the ways in which consumers will experience products and develop brand loyalty are changing. In order to embrace this change effectively, industry hopefuls as well as veterans must understand why the old way of doing things is no longer as effective.
Let’s start with our baseline: How does the American Marketing Association (AMA) currently define advertising?
“The placement of announcements and persuasive messages in time or space purchased in any of the mass media by business firms, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and individuals who seek to inform and/or persuade members of a particular target market or audience about their products, services, organizations, or ideas.”
Do you see any flaws in this definition? Unless you’re brand new to the industry, there was probably a time not long ago when you could back up all the reasons this definition was accurate. But things are changing.
The three flaws in this definition are as follows:
1. “The placement of announcements and persuasive messages… in any of the mass media….”
The traditional forms of media include television, magazines, newspaper, outdoor, and radio. Can you imagine an advertising campaign today that did not include the Internet as a means of communication? Furthermore, the unique benefit of the Internet for advertising is that it allows for communication with an infinite number of niche sites as well as a handful of sites (such as Google and Yahoo!) with mass reach.
2. “…messages in time or space purchased in any of the mass media…
While advertising has operated under this model since its conception, CGM (consumer-generated media), social-network advertising, and the viral spread of brand messages are giving brands the opportunity to expand their reach without necessarily digging deeper into their pockets.
3. “The placement of announcements and persuasive message…to inform and/or persuade a particular target market or audience…”
One-way communication delivered from the marketer to the target audience ignores the control, freedom, and dialogue consumers expect from Web 2.0. Consumer involvement and interactivity, which is fostered under this new model, enable for two-way (or multi-way) communication between brands and consumers.
For more information on “Changes in the Roles and Meaning of Advertising,” please explore pages 2–5 in Advertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 World.
How do you think advertising will continue to evolve? Please share your comments below!