July 6, 2010

Are you a mix tape, or a playlist?

Traditional marketing tactics may be like your old mix tapes.

Traditional marketing tactics may be like your old mix tapes.

It seems like only yesterday. I wanted to catch the attention of that special person and I knew the perfect way to go about doing it — the mix tape! A combination of all those songs that would tell her exactly how I felt and why she should want my company as much as I wanted hers.

Times have certainly changed. Now you wouldn’t make a mix tape, or even a mix CD. Now it’s all about the playlist.

Are business relationships really any different?

Looking at it from a marketing perspective, traditional tactics are like that mix tape—time consuming, more expensive and once they are recorded they are unchanging.  Today’s nontraditional marketing tactics have a lot in common with the playlist. Messages can be shared quickly; you can ask friends and colleagues to share their opinions; and if the message you want is no longer being spread, it can be changed on the fly.

How do you communicate for your business? If you’re focused only on traditional marketing tactics, it’s as if you’re trying to reach your target with a mix tape. There’s a segment of the audience that appreciates the effort, and the medium, but the biggest part of your target has moved on.

It’s time to embrace new media, to realize that the Internet is not going away, that more and more people use it to do everything from shopping to getting medical advice. It’s time to realize that smart mobile phone use is not going to decrease. That within the next couple of years it won’t be enough to have a good-looking website — you’ll need a mobile-enabled, good-looking website. It’s time to think about how your company is going to tell those special people why they should want your company.

Cue up Lloyd Dobler with his boombox playing “In Your Eyes.”

I still miss those tapes  — the awkward “flip” after side A was done, the feeling of writing a title on the label — but I would miss my iPod even more.