When I graduated from business school back in the last century, the Internet was just starting to expand beyond army and universities. The commercial internet was emerging. I tried the best I could to apply what I was taught in my Marketing courses to this new thing that came upon us, the World Wide Web. I tried to apply Kotler”s 4 P’s to this new world with very limited success:
- Price – nope, it’s free.
- Product – well not quite, more like a service.
- Promotion – wasn’t the promotion a bit within the Product?
- Place – euh…
If you would like to explore the old world of marketing check out this Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing_mix
Old fragments of Marketing
Set aside Philip Kotler’s Marketing theories, there were other things I had been fascinated by in Business School. For example something called Network Marketing – this was an approach to interaction between big suppliers and big client organizations where you would analyse and influence according to the network of people within the organizations. This of course had strictly nothing to do with the other network, that of interconnected servers across the world where the humans were on the outside and the machines on the inside… Much as I admired and respected my tutor, his opinion with regards to the Internet was close to disgust. Relations should be between people, not between computers.
Another branch of Marketing I had found extremely interesting was that of Retail Marketing and I found a few elements I could transpose to this new world: Entry Marketing, Exit Marketing and the notion of “customer flow” within a commercial oulet – store or supermarket. But still the rules-set did not really seem to apply to the Internet.
So, what else can you do when you are a bright young graduate with great adventures ahead than to proclaim the Death of Marketing. This projection was quite simple: the old framework did not apply to the new economy and the new economy would gradually replace the old economy so the old framework was necessarily dead. The King is Dead, long live, euh who? What?
How do you Proclaim in a World with no rules?
I should have probably written a book about it but would that make sense in this new world? I couldn’t be sure that a “book” wasn’t already an obsolete means of communication anyway. So I stuck to a simple web site format. It was not my first website and a part from its proclamation, it didn’t really have an objective: there was no price, no product, the place was anywhere in the world where someone would consume it and the promotion was absent.
Little did I know that I had just committed my first act of what would later be known as Content Marketing at that stage…
In 2013 the Information Society has indeed changed our world and a new form of marketing is gradually emerging. It is strongly anchored in Contents and their Distribution on the Internet. I will be describing my view of this new article in a future post which is likely to be entitled the Digital Lotus.