Home  › Marketing › Strategies
buzz

Most Marketing Buzz Words Today Are at Least 10 Years Old

  |  October 16, 2010   |  Comments   |  

Social networking, group buying, and smartphones are not 'new' ideas, though they are all maturing.

As a digital marketing professional, I've often been asked these questions during small talk right before you flick on your Keynote (well, PowerPoint for some), from clients and partners alike, who are eager to demonstrate their keen sense of digital awareness.

"So Patrick, what's new out there? What is the latest trend nowadays?"

I always get very annoyed. (Sorry people!)

I am annoyed because it is hard to explain in a few sentences over a 20-second conversation that there is really nothing new in digital, contrary to what people believe. But in order to respond concisely in a way they understand, I usually resort to the standard answer reluctantly.

"Yeah, many new things are happening, like social media, mobile, search... blah, blah, blah."

However, I am going to tell you why the 'new' in digital may not be as new as you think it is.

Let's start with search. It is the number one tool everyone uses today. It is also amongst the first tools marketers pour their budgets into. But long before Google became a household name, there was Lycos, AltaVista, and Magellan (circa 1995 for all you folks who were already searching). And long before search engine marketing became science, webmasters were aware of the value in visible search rankings, figuring out how to jockey their site to rank higher (search "History of SEO").

Social Networking

With more than 450 million users and just as much buzz, Facebook (or BeBo, CyWorld, Mixi, Orkut, RenRen, depending which country you live in) makes sharing personal details and connecting with friends over the Web easy. So did we all just sit around surfing in very disconnected ways before these social networks came about? Not true if you were around to enjoy GeoCities and Tripod in the mid-90's, two of the largest "Web communities" hosting more than 20 million users and an equal amount of user-generated content from vacation photography to biographies.

Group Buying

With the rise of huge group buying sites such as Groupon across the world, it's hard to imagine what life could have been like before such great deals. Or is it? "We-commerce" was coined by Mercata, an online group buying site in 1999, one of the ancestors of all modern day online group buying. It's just too bad the still nascent Internet had not been properly developed for e-commerce at the time.

Smartphones

Nowadays, you can hold your life in your hands with smartphones that can check email, review documents, schedule appointments, and browse the Web. But you could have done the same thing in the early 90's with a Palm Pilot or an Apple Newton. Maybe you couldn't grab the latest vacation photo off Facebook or download an album from iTunes, but then again no service provider or computer would have let you do that either back then.

Last but not least: Web analytics. This one is as old as the first Web browser! With the promise of digital media came the promise of being able to optimise and track every ad dollar spend with precision. Not quite as easy it turns out, but Webtrends and WebSideStory managed to perform early forms of measurement through weblog analysis and page tagging – essentially what any analytics package currently available today is doing.

The main point I'm making is that "new" is a dangerous word when associated with digital, because new things tend to be ahead of their times in the digital world.

Unless you have the time, money, and heart to experiment, don't feel pressured to keep up with the newest and latest in digital – you may well end up with many half-baked experiments. I don't mean to sound discouraging here. In fact, now is the best time to be doing digital marketing!

Many 'new' ideas from the '90s are now proven and robust, and mass market consumers have given digital a catalytic boost by making it a routine part of their daily lives. The digital ecosystem has matured and your most welcome participation will push it past the tipping point.

And stop annoying me!

Subscribe to ClickZ Asia to receive your weekly dose of the region's latest trends, tips, and insights straight to your inbox.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patrick Tam

Patrick is the principal advisor of 3 Screens Strategic Advisors, a digital marketing consultancy that specialises in developing holistic digital strategy by providing digital auditing, planning, and dash-boarding services to clients. He has a deep and holistic understanding of the myriad of digital channels, and the ability to strike a balance between its art and science. Patrick worked on a variety of digital and integrated assignments with clients in the region from various industries including air travel, financial services, fashion, fast food chains, FMCG, hospitality, jewelry, property, telecommunication, and toys. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada, Patrick graduated as an electrical engineer from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...