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Traditional marketing is dead, a new report declares

Traditional marketing is dead, a new report declares

A new white paper launched today throws down the gauntlet to the marketing and media community to abandon traditional thinking. It predicts that within the next ten years, the industry will see the death of ‘the line’ as distinctions between traditional media and marketing functions continue to blur.

Written by marketing communications expert Martin Hayward, in association with the, Marketing Communications Towards 2020: Looking for meaning in a land of plenty sets out the rules for the next decade of marketing communications.

Produced with input from Patrick Barwise, Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing at the London Business School, and leading industry commentators such as Alan Mitchell, the Royal Mail-commissioned report states that relevance, response, and restraint will become the key drivers behind future marketing and media outreach.

The white paper outlines the following new rules which will shape marketing communications towards 2020: - Data will be plentiful, but needs to be gained from the consumer upfront and employed in a responsible manner. Understanding and earning consumer permission regarding marketing will be paramount

- Analogue communication will provide standout in a digital world

– in the next five years marketing directors expect the proportion of advertising spend on direct mail to increase along with online, mobile, and social media

- Relevant targeting will become easier as a result

- Measurement will improve as media channels become much more accountable

- Costs of marketing communications will fall due to less wastage and marketing budgets may shrink as a result

- The reliance on creative execution to create standout will be reduced as more campaigns are delivered with the right message, to the right person, in the right way A further key driver for future marketing success includes fostering restraint to avoid over-intrusion, which may threaten to undo improved relevance and efficiency if not undertaken.

The report – available at - also sees a development for media planning away from a channel-driven approach towards audience mapping. In the white paper, Martin Hayward notes that many of the barriers which have prevented the marketing world from becoming more effective have now been removed by the increasing digitisation of everyday life and improved insights from continuous and unobtrusive direct contact with consumers.

The report outlines that accountability of marketing channels will dramatically improve, as marketing spend migrates ever more rapidly into direct and accountable channels. As distinctions between media channels blur and converge based on technology and consumer interaction, traditional definitions of marketing, such as Above and Below-the-Line, will become irrelevant. The report includes research, conducted among the UK’s media and marketing directors, which highlights a move within the next five years to utilising a broader range of media to reach consumers most effectively.

This research further finds that many in the marketing world believe it will be ever easier to reach specific target audiences with marketing communications. However, many feel that marketing budgets will remain the same or even decrease over the next five years as efficiency in targeting consumers increases.

This will lead to a greater accountability on spend, and importantly, pressure to deliver campaigns with consumers which engage and deliver long term value. While few consumers are willing to see an increase in the number of marketing messages they receive, the report includes consumer research stating that, when a company knows more about an individual and their needs, they believe that marketing communications can become more relevant. However, many consumers wish to exercise levels of control over the amount of personal detail which is shared by companies and utilised for marketing purposes.

Author of the report, Martin Hayward, said: “The current ‘push’ model of marketing is becoming ever more obsolete as consumers have become more used to control over the media they choose to consume. Technology has empowered the individual and they are no longer forced to endure irrelevant communication.

“If recent developments in consumer interactions with marketing are any judge, the rulebook needs to be ripped up. Marketing and media have to change: engagement with the individual has to become the focus for judging campaign success.” Mark Thomson, Media Director at Royal Mail, said: “This report tackles some of the major issues faced by marketers today and lays down some of the rules the marketing industry should play by if they are to enjoy success in the future. It is clear that marketing has to evolve to become more effective - it simply has to engage more directly with consumers to succeed. The consumer, their likes, needs and preferences have to become the centre of the marketers’ world.” He added: “This is an issue broader than campaign success or failure. Channels which are used to bombard consumers with irrelevant messages and brands that refuse to learn these lessons will fall by the wayside.”

The report can be accessed at ENDS Issued on behalf of Royal Mail by Eulogy! Tel: 020 7927 9999 Email:

About Martin Hayward Until recently, Martin was Director of Strategy and Futures for dunnhumby, at the heart of the development of the innovative use of detailed customer data for marketing and communications. During his six years at dunnhumby the company grew to be the world leader in the management and translation of vast behavioural data sets particularly in the retail and fmcg sector.

Martin also led the development of 'Shopper Thoughts' an attitudinal overlay to behavioural data sets, creating the largest ongoing single source panel in the UK. He is hugely excited about the growing potential to ‘Connect the Dots’ of marketing; bringing the ever more possible analysis of millions of consumers’ purchasing habits to provide faster and more granular insight than has ever been possible. Combining such rich behavioural data with attitudinal and media overlays is further revolutionising companies’ abilities to truly understand cause and effect in marketing. Martin has recently published a new book “Any Colour You Like As Long As It’s ….Any Colour You Like”, exploring the future of customer data and insight.

Martin’s previous position was as Executive Chairman of The Henley Centre, WPP’s leading Strategic Marketing Consultancy. Prior to joining The Henley Centre, Martin was the founding Managing Director of BBH Futures, the strategic consultancy arm of the Bartle Bogle Hegarty Advertising Group. He was also Head of the Marketing Services Department for Mercury Communications, during which time Mercury was voted Brand of the Year. Martin began his career in Account Planning at Ogilvy and Mather.

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