A chorus of bloggers and authors all hailing th death of advertising and the rise of relationship marketing and it's many variants. Don't get me wrong, I agree with a lot of the points they make, but as bloggers and web 2.0 mavens it is pretty incestuous you have to admit.
Interruption marketing used to be the only way to reach people, the only mediums were magazines, newspapers TV and the radio. Today, there are many, many more. From podcasts, to blogs, to Adwords, to e-newsletters; the number of mediums that can be used has multiplied.
And there is a rise in relationship style marketing. I have written about what I called Trust Based Marketing here before, and I also posted on my own experiences with permission marketing.
But the rise of new forms of marketing doesn't mean the death of the old forms. They are still around, and they are still effective. They are just transforming.
Right now I am in a new place. I have no idea who does what and I have been responding to TV ads, yellow pages listings, newspaper ads and even billboards to try to get an idea of who does what around here.
It has been a great wake up call for me. I still try to tap into referrals wherever I can do, particularly where schools are concerned, but in general - display advertising is getting my attention.
Modern display advertising used to be useful for initiating a sale. Today, it is for initiating a relationship. Even Godin, in his book permission Marketing, recognizes the need for a form of interruption (read display) marketing.
Initiating the relationship, getting your permission to start a conversation, enabling the vendor to begin to win your trust. However you look at it the need still remains to get peoples' attention in the first place.
Getting their attention, building or supporting a brand image and making sure that your products are on the tip of their minds when they are considering your areas.
My wife and I are in the process of creating a company here. The focus will be on trying to gauge the impact and usefulness of local display advertising. it is not a full time business, more of a past time right now.
I will let you know what I learn.
What I believe is that display advertising, when delivered in the right medium and local, is the most powerful way to initiate a relationship for small businesses such as consultants.