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Is Marketing Dead?

I’m troubled. Some of the smartest, most successful people I know say marketing is dead. It doesn’t matter, they say. It’s a waste of time. Instead…

… just build great product. Disrupt a big market. The buzz will follow.

And it makes some sense. Did Facebook care about marketing, or product? What about Twitter? You could say their product was their marketing.

Which, however, is something like saying higher education is useless because Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg all dropped out of college.

No doubt marketing is all mixed up and turned inside out these days. It’s still a strong force in big businesses with multi-million-dollar advertising budgets, but there’s this new world in which thought, content, effort and authenticity make up for money. You don’t necessarily buy attention in this new world – you can earn it instead.

But a lot of the core concepts — like understanding your target markets, and developing your main messages, and pricing as message, and managing channels – are as important as ever.

Because there are the brilliant exceptions to the rule, and then there’s the rule.

(image: igoncepts/


  • Hariath says:

    small post, but so inspiring.
    So, as i can understand, marketing is changing and not dying, which is sensible, since all the circumstances are changing, with target’s group understanding, that maybe is the most important, to switch completely.

  • Tim S. McEneny says:

    Many people seem to equate marketing (lower case m) with PR and advertising. Let’s not forget the main functions of Marketing (with a capital M!)…..Product, Positioning, Pricing, and Promotion. I do believe the methods used in Promotion have changed, but the first three P’s are more important than ever.

    • Tim Berry says:

      Tim: yes, right on. The other three matter as much as ever, and probably that promotion variable, although drastically changed in my opinion, still matters a lot. Tools, possibilities. and even keys to success are different now, but still vital.

  • Bill Brelsford says:

    Hi Tim,

    Great post (as usual). As a marketing guy I’m biased, but what I see is that when marketing is equated with advertising and pushing your message on people, then I think it is fair to say that approach is dying. However, from the point of view that marketing is about articulating your purpose and then telling that story so that the right people can find, identify, and engage with you, then I think marketing is very much alive. I also believe that the core concepts you mention still play an important part in this type of marketing.


    • Tim Berry says:

      Thanks Bill, and I’m with you on that one, completely. I don’t answer the “is marketing dead” question with a yes.

  • William Barter says:

    Hi, Tim.
    Really, the new world is widely social and digital. The unique rule that matters is how I understand the audience’s opinion, how it changes my position and, precisely, how I can rebuilt the interaction with them. That’s the fact: We are what we can learn from the others, all the time.
    Congratulations, and thanks for the post.

  • Twitted by CorettaJackson says:

    […] This post was Twitted by CorettaJackson […]

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