Marketing Agency – Interactive or Traditional?

Evolve or perish. We may have gotten a message from Darwin that the world belongs to those who were most adaptable. But in today’s world of marketing, evolution is a given. Gone is the sacred subculture of “interactive” versus “traditional” marketing. Let’s take the fear out of technology!

With an ever-expanding digital toolset, agencies and in-house marketers have options that didn’t exist 20, 10 or 5 years ago, say nothing of last month. Our job is no longer keeping an eye just on who is watching what TV program, but what is the consumer doing with their time, their buying patterns and their smartphones. It’s different, but at the same time not all that different. Our job is still understanding the consumer, and how and why they buy. Kind of like Mad Men, or the real ad world of the ‘60s.

Let’s look at e-commerce as an example. When was the last time you called a travel agent to book a plane ticket? And if you can’t find something you want in a retail store, try Amazon for anything – yes anything you might want to buy. Instead of carrying it home from the store, it may be on your doorstep the next day.

So if part of marketing has to do with location, that is no longer just Main Street or the mall. It may be where your customer is curled up with a cup of coffee in his/her jammies shopping to their heart’s content from the bedroom or den. And we need to figure out the best place (i.e. portal) to sell what we make, and the best way for that consumer to find us online such as SEO or other online marketing?

TV may still have infomercials, but today’s consumer prefers mini-mercials – short entertaining videos they watch on their smartphones that are entertainment first, and advertising second. But they are a disruptive business model that is working.

At Oster and Associates we spend countless hours doing PR for our clients. But it’s not our fathers’ PR, and it’s probably more effective. It’s far from one size fits all. It’s focused on who the important consumer is. Do we want seasoned skiers, new homeowners who don’t know how to keep a plant alive, organic dieters or savvy developers? Today’s snowboarder spends a lot of time staring at a small screen, but sometimes they even watch TV. The developer scans the business section of the daily paper, but they’re online as they travel the world. Gardeners young and old have apps that help them with plants, weather and soil or pest problems.

Today’s marketing choices are not about traditional or new media. They’re still about consumers and customers, guests and shoppers. The days of the old-fashioned agency or the digital agency are dead. Long live the evolving marketers.


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