21st century marketing: has there been a communication breakdown?

In the good old days, most marketing consultants knew how to give their activities that ‘hands on’ feel. They knew their audiences and they knew how to convey a message, but the emergence of new technologies, marketing strategies and audience trends has led to a changing of the guard in some companies and institutions.

However, an amalgamation of the new and the traditional is the best possible way to approach 21st century marketing, and that companies today are all too frequently failing to communicate a message to their audiences at events and online. Here’s why…


When your company attends an event, you need to have it in the forefront of your mind that you’ve paid to do so, so you should be looking to make as much of a return on your investment as is physically possible.

However, countless companies are content to simply stroll along to an event and wait for customers and clients to approach them, as though their brand is strong enough to sell itself. An event is your opportunity to set your brand apart from everybody else, to distinguish yourself from your rivals.

It’s no good standing there with your hands in your pockets – you need to send a message, to say or do something that grabs the attention of your audience and gives them a reason to remember your business.


Online marketing is extremely trendy at the moment, and the majority of UK companies are ploughing a significant share of their marketing budgets into it in the hope that it will result in increased revenue and customer engagement.

However, as has been reported by software developers Adobe recently, online marketing is frequently used unsuccessfully, and at times it can be actively reductive.

According to Adobe’s study, only 3% of customers actually like to see banner ads and pop-ups online as opposed to engaging with advertising in traditional media, while many of those questioned accused online advertising of being annoying or distracting.

That isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with online marketing, just that people are going about it in an ineffective way. Online marketing isn’t like Everest – a mountain to climb simply because it’s there – it should only be used to communicate a message that will really speak to your target audience.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.
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