Written by Pamela Carvell, President, Hotel Marketing Association, 2017

I recently attended a marketing conference and was very surprised by a presentation about the importance of Marketing Planning and preparing a Marketing Plan.

The presentation was delivered by a brilliant young Marketing Director (probably half my age!) who totally engaged with the audience and gave a very slick, informative presentation. So, what surprised me? The fact that I have been delivering similar content for the past 30 years! Which promoted me to ask myself: Has Marketing really not changed in the past 30 years, in spite of all the amazing advances in technology and the amazing platforms and channels available to us? Or, is it that the people & organisations training the Marketing Directors of the future haven’t changed their thinking, or even dared to challenge things?

Of course the basic principles of identifying your target market, developing a product that meets that target’s needs, pricing it appropriately, selling it in the best place and promoting it still apply. Or do they?

Some of the most innovative and successful marketers don’t even have a product…. because they are bloggers!

Some of the most successful brands engage with their customers and get them excited, before they have even finished developing the next product they want them to buy e.g. Apple. And create products that we couldn’t have ever imagined we would have needed!

Marketing is no longer about the company sending its message to the consumer. Marketing is genuinely three-way i.e. between company and consumer, between consumer and company, and between consumers.

Add to this ways of communicating which defy belief and surely we have reasons to challenge traditional Marketing thinking?

Don’t we need to move on from defining Marketing in terms of the 5 (or 7/9) P’s and doesn’t the traditional format for a Marketing Plan need a radical overhaul?

I look forward to the current generation of young Marketers grabbing this gauntlet! Or totally disagreeing with me!

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