The Downsizing of Marketing
So, we’ve gone from 600 pages mailed infrequently to a huge, captive audience to interactive tweets between brand and consumer/user/publisher.
Given that marketing has become so much smaller, marketers have to become smaller, too. This doesn’t mean marketing departments become smaller. Rather, instead of a small number of employees marketing to a captive audience, leverage a large number of employees marketing to a large number of customers and prospects. Honestly, employees won’t employ marketing; they'll simply host conversations.
My dad ran an antique store. Every customer who came in the store was different. Some customers wanted to interact with him; some wanted to learn more about the history behind individual items; others didn’t want to be bothered. My dad had to act “small” with every single customer.
Direct marketing is being transformed from mass messages to mass audiences to small, individual conversations. This isn't a transition to the one-to-one CRM model proposed earlier, because in that model the brand controlled the message. Instead, the model is switching, becoming more similar to that employed by my dad and his antique store. Your job is to experiment and fail now so you're not put in a frustrating position when mass messages (e.g., catalogs, emails) become less productive.