Old World Marketing is Dead: Long Live Peer-Influenced Marketing

In a highly provocative August 9th, 2012 article in the Harvard Business Review Bill Lee argues that "[t]raditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead."

In the new digital economy, how consumers are shopping and buying has changed.

Bill Lee cites evidence (like a recent Corporate Executive Board study) that shows that consumers are increasingly researching online and relying on peer recommendations - replacing the work that was previously done by the vendors (e.g., explaining to consumers how the product will solve their problem) with their own analysis.

What does this mean for filmmakers - and anyone else with a product to sell?

According to Bill Lee: "In today's increasingly social media-infused environment, traditional marketing and sales not only doesn't work so well, it doesn't make sense."

The good news?: "[W]e already know in great detail what the new model of marketing will look like."

Marketers can increase their influence "by expanding the buyer's network of peers who can provide trustworthy information and advice based on their own experience with the product or service."

How can filmmakers (and companies) support the shopping behaviors that consumers prefer in the new digital age?

"[F]ind and cultivate customer influencers and give them something great to talk about."

"Traditional marketing often tries to encourage customer advocacy with cash rewards, discounts or other untoward inducements. The new marketing helps its advocates and influencers create social capital: it helps them build their affiliation networks, increase their reputation and gives them access to new knowledge — all of which your customer influencers crave."

"Traditional marketing may be dead, but the new possibilities of peer influence-based, community-oriented marketing, hold much greater promise for creating sustained growth through authentic customer relationships."

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