We’ve talked about the rise of inbound marketing as the standard in online marketing today, how it is superior to traditional marketing in many ways, and how many companies are using its strategies as part of their marketing campaigns. Now some commentators are going as far as to say that traditional marketing such as advertising, branding and corporate communications is entirely dead.

The main evidence that they point to takes the form of studies on customer behaviour. Potential customers are bypassing traditional marketing communications and searching for products and services on their own terms more than ever, mostly on the Internet. Official information and advertising from companies are ignored –people get information from friends or customer reviews, and much of it through search engines (the explosion of SEO services companies is one aspect of this development).

In this climate, the paradigm has shifted from the companies themselves to the communities around them, formed by customers, taste-makers (customers with an influential voice) and their peers. With this shift in focus totally bypassing traditional methods, CEOs and business owners are getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of return their marketing budget is bringing them.

Social media is touted as a powerful marketing tool, but there’s a catch. It is only powerful if one uses the right techniques around it. Traditional approaches just won’t work well. The approach has to be more of a community marketing angle. Peer networks are the most powerful influencers of customer behaviour. Positioning one’s company within this framework allows the community experience to work for you and your product.

The key to this new model is to find ‘influencers’ in your field and develop them. These are people who have some kind of platform, have followers, fans or simply access to a certain community. By building relationships with them, you empower your campaign with real social capital –a crucial resource in the new community marketing world.

Developing these relationships takes time, effort and expertise, which is where Blue Hat comes in. We handle this social networking process and develop relationships with the right people in the right communities to serve our clients and maximize the efficiency of their marketing budgets. The death of traditional marketing isn’t a bad thing. Under the new model, there is greater opportunity to build solid foundations for the growth of your business. All you need is a partner like Blue Hat to help you though the process.