Villing & Company

Everything Old is New Again: Marketing Trends & Buzzwords

Earlier this week, our local American Marketing Association chapter hosted a wonderful presentation by Thom Forbes, a business journalist who has covered the marketing industry for the better part of 40 years. As a chronicler of our industry, he has seen trends and buzzwords come and go and during his presentation, he touched on several examples of some of the hot new topics in marketing. One of those is what we now call “native advertising.”

Back in March you may recall I discussed native advertising. As a reminder of what it is, here is Wikipedia’s definition. “Native advertising is a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears.”

Forbes noted that native advertising really is a contemporary repackaging of the advertising technique we used to call an advertorial.

When you think about it, many of the hot topics in contemporary marketing are essentially reformulations or repackaging of earlier methodologies. For example…

Isn’t “viral marketing” very much the same as what we called “creating a buzz” a few years ago and industry cynics would have labeled a “publicity stunt” decades ago?

How about “earned media”? One could make the case that earned media is a combination of public relations and “word of mouth” advertising. The difference now is that social media is in the mix and we have technological tools to help stimulate the process.

In his classic 2001 book "Good to Great", Jim Collins challenged readers to identify what they could be “best in the world at.” But in many ways, isn’t this essentially what has been called everything from USP (Unique Selling Proposition), “differentiation” and countless other descriptors over the years?

Time and technology have changed many things about our business but I suppose there is a certain comfort in knowing that tried and true marketing techniques continue to have merit. In the immortal words of Sergeant Joe Friday, “Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”

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