By: Walter Ohlmann
As we enter the age of the ‘90’s I believe we’ll experience a dramatic acceleration in the marketing communications trends and functions which we have seen taking shape in the last few years.
Among these are:
An increased importance of media planning.
This trend is precipitated by the ever-increasing cost of media, the ever-increasing complexity of media and the ever-increasing variety of media. In addition, the sophistication of computer programming provides us more information about any medium than we ever dreamt possible even a few short years ago. Consequently, the knowledgeable media planner, armed with research and computers will become more and more influential in determining not only the media mix but marketing strategy and programs.
An increased application for public relations.
When I first became involved in advertising some 35 years ago, PR meant a few product releases, employee promotions and general news concerning the company. Words like “crisis management,” “advertorials,” and “issue” advertising were not part of the vocabulary. Nor was there any thought of executive media training to better prepare company officials to meet the press or a dozen other disciplines which are part and parcel of any worthwhile PR program today. Because of the plethora of paid advertising, which makes individual product attention more difficult to achieve in every medium, the function of PR will take on significant new importance and will expand into additional areas of influence and broaden its scope of activities.
An increased need for target marketing
The marketplace is growing more segmented every day. Consequently, I believe that Direct Marketing will enjoy unprecedented importance in the marketing plan for more and more advertisers. With the increased cost of advertising, it is no longer feasible to fund media plans, which include “wasted” circulation. We can’t be all things to all people, so it becomes more and more important to identify a niche in the market and pursue it relentlessly. Because of computer sophistication, Direct Marketing becomes a viable alternative to what in the past we assumed were the “normal” media channels.
The advertisers and agencies who recognize the changing face of this industry and who make the appropriate revisions in their marketing plans will not only allow for the changes but will take advantage of the new opportunities thus created. These will be the successful marketers of the future.