It’s amazing to see how much the marketing industry has been changing – all while staying exactly the same. For the past fifteen years – since I started this firm – I’ve been saying that despite all of the changes that have come in the tactics that we employ to get your message out to your target audience, marketing itself has not changed at all since the start of business. Regardless of the latest innovations in social media, the Internet, email and all of the other marketing tactics that are out there, at the end of the day, marketing comes down to figuring out how to get the right message in front of the right people at the right time.
This is still true but for the first time in a while, as I’ve been talking to some of my cohorts in the marketing world, I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about a consolidation in the industry that has been coming for a while.
A good friend of mine with a PR firm in San Diego published a great article on his blog about this very phenomenon called “Don’t call us PR people anymore” – quite a statement for someone who’s owned a PR firm for a number of years and been in the industry for even longer.
The idea of the article (which I recommend reading if you’re interviewing marketing and/or communication firms) is that PR folks aren’t just handling press releases and media relations anymore. While some of the big firms with big clients can still make their numbers with just these services, the majority of firms who have specialized in PR are now finding themselves providing services like email marketing, social media marketing and content marketing as well.
And PR folks aren’t the only ones either. The same goes for marketers, advertisers – even business development consultants. We’ve been seeing this trend in advertising firms for close to 10 years now but until recently, that hasn’t necessarily been the case for the other aspects of the marketing spectrum. Now it is.
So what’s the point to all of this? Well I guess it comes down to the importance of who you’re looking for as a consulting firm. You don’t need to look for one PR firm, one communications firm and another ad firm anymore. It’s more important than it ever was to find someone who can help you identify a strategy that incorporates all of the pieces of the marketing puzzle and then find the right people to fill those roles.
The role of the generalist seems to be coming back into trend again and it seems to be more important now than it ever was.