Of course, advertising is not dead (yet). But its role and imporance in the marketing mix is definitively shifting: New forms of customer communications are emerging to increasingly push it aside given that the world wide web, social media, and mobile are providing a broad spectrum of new ways for brands to communicate with desired and prospective audiences.
If you happened to miss this old and visionary article in the Journal of Advertising, Volume XXIII, Number 4 from December 1994 by Roland T. Rust and Richard W. Oliver on the death of advertising, you definitively missed something important. This is why you’ll the full article as PDF below.
Rust and Oliver were without doubt visionaries given that they predicted search engines (knowbots), e-commerce, SEO and content marketing (customer communications). According to the authors, a new type of marketing calls for a radically new form of detailed, information-oriented communications as opposed to mass media advertising.
My favorite sentences and passages from a content marketer perspective are the following:
“The value-added of many traditional products today is their information content” (page 72).
“This period will last well into the middle of the 21st century, as the only real value of products, services and communications becomes their information content. The information content of products and services themselves will be transformed during this period into what we call “wisdom products.” Such “wisdom products” will provide customers not only data and information, but knowledge and wisdom for decision
making and action” (page 75).
“Virtually the whole of marketing communications will be “not advertising” in the relatively
near future, so the field of advertising must go out of its way to welcome new, broader topics before it is too late” (page 76).