It’s All About the Click: Traditional media versus digital media versus social media

goal strivingConversion is the end zone in marketing. Not just getting folks to buy your product, but speeding them on their buying journey by signing up for your mailing list, downloading your white paper, or going to a webinar.

Don’t believe me? According to Hubspot research, 13% of all leads come through email marketing; making it the 3rd best tool for lead generation.

And, no matter what you’re conversion goals are, digital media has a huge advantage over traditional media — it’s actionable.

Traditional media versus digital media

I know I’ve posted about the huge differences between traditional media and digital media before (and, if you missed these posts, here’s a link to the 16 differences between traditional media and digital media and another about integrating traditional media versus digital media).

But, with digital media, it’s all about the click — creating an urgency and tools for converting immediately.

If it’s not immediately obvious why digital media is more actionable than traditional media, just think about it for a minute.

Traditional media — print, broadcast (and cable), radio, public relations …

How are you supposed to respond when you see their message?

I mean, you’re driving down the road and see a billboard for a product or hear a radio commercial.

Do you stop your car to immediately call the number to order?

Do you whip out your smartphone to go online and order?

Of course you don’t. Even if the commercial message manages to cut through the clutter — other billboards, scenery, traffic, radio programming — and manages to reach your consciousness, you’re not about to interrupt your drive to order.

And, even though many folks, especially millennials making up the so-called Connected Consumers, watch TV with their laptop burning their legs because they’re too distracted to notice or their mobile device in their hands, they’re using the 2 devices in parallel, not in tandem. That means they’re watching TV with one eye (and likely zapping through commercials) and stalking their ex on Facebook. They’re not watching your commercial and reaching for their device to order your product — unless you’re Dominos.

Maybe consumer behavior will be different with Smart TV and tools like Delivery Agent that let you buy products you see on TV programs, but I doubt it. Consumer behavior patterns get locked in and changing those behaviors takes time and is unpredictable. So, for the forseeable future, your traditional media spend won’t be actionable.

Digital media versus social media

Digital media, by its very nature, is actionable. See a product in an Adwords ad or Facebook promoted post — click to go directly to the page to buy the product. In fact, if you don’t do digital media right (don’t include landing pages to let clickers buy your product directly, for instance) and your quality score increases your digital advertising costs and buries your ad on the back pages in SERPs (ranking on search engine results).

Unless you do it the right way, social media also isn’t actionable. I have this argument all the time with potential clients. Social media isn’t really marketing unless you’re ultimate goal is to drive traffic to your website. Sure, I know Facebook is really pushing it’s storefront app, Shopify, but there are lots of reasons to use an ecommerce website (with a blog) over the tools offered by Shopify.

Extending this argument, that means your goal with social media marketing should be driving traffic to your website (digital media), so social media isn’t really actionable by itself.

Is it all about the click?

Let’s return to my original statement — it’s all about the click. Is that really true?

And, if it’s all about the click, why use traditional media and social media when they don’t generate clicks?

Traditional media and social media both make sense because they drive potential consumers along the customer journey. Conversion is merely the end of that journey and too great a focus on the end, reduces the likelihood you’ll ever get there.

To continue the football analogy (with apologies to my readers outside the US for whom US football doesn’t exist), even though you only score when the football gets into the end zone (converts), you can’t throw a series of “hail mary’s (a term referring to a long pass aimed close to the end zone with the notion of a quick score). Instead, you systematically move the ball down the field in a series of first downs until you’re within striking distance of the end zone.

The customer journey is the same way. You need to focus on moving consumers from:

  1. reach
  2. acquire
  3. develop
  4. advocate


Traditional media and social media are excellent for reaching potential consumers with commercial messaging. Think about a Super Bowl ad. It reached over 100 million viewers in 2014. And, a well crafted social media strategy amplifies your original message so it might reach millions or billions on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or other social platform.

Although, I question the wisdom of spending $4 million on a 30 second Super Bowl ad when your entire digital marketing budget is only a little more than that. I think heavy spending on traditional advertising stems from the fact that traditional advertising is what’s been done for over a century to mass market products. Reducing spend on traditional advertising spells disgrace and potential dismissal for the executive making that decision if sales drop even slightly. Meanwhile, the upside of using digital advertising is both less tangible and slow. No one is likely to lose their job over NOT doing digital marketing and, even successful digital media is more a slow burn than an immediate spike in sales.


Consumers buy products based on emotion, not reason. Even industrial buyers.

Social media, traditional media, and digital media all aid in pushing the emotional buttons that drive sales. Hence, setting the stage for conversion, social media, traditional media and digital media establish the brand image and make the emotional connections necessary to make conversion happen.


Developing your audience happens better on social and digital media because there’s more real estate and more frequent interactions on these platforms than on traditional media. In part, that’s because content distribution on social and digital networks is costless, while traditional channels charge high fees for distributing content.

Now, don’t get me wrong — content marketing isn’t free. Far from it. But, distribution is free. And, it’s that consistent flow of valuable content that makes social and digital media work. It’s the grease that gets your brand to show up in all kinds of searches (not just internet search, but on all kinds of social platforms).

Content (both created and curated) goes beyond emotional involvement with the brand by creating a tit-for-tat relationship. This indebtedness creates an obligation making purchase more likely.

Not only that, a sound content marketing strategy of sharing value with your target market clearly establishes you as a leader in your industry and, in many cases, an expert in your field. Your target audience trusts you and that trust results in conversion.


In the old days, consumers might have gone around humming your jingle, thus sharing your brand with others. Today, social and digital media generate the engagement that drives advocacy.

And, don’t underestimate the importance of an advocate. Sometimes called brand champions or brand ambassadors, advocates are the online cheerleaders for your brand. They not only add their voice to your marketing messages which makes them more trustworthy, but they aid in customer support by answering questions and solving user problems.

Need help?

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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service marketing firm operating at the intersection of marketing and social media.






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Traditional Media and Social Media: It’s NOT a Choice

combining traditional media and social mediaSocial media (or new media) gets so much hype and traditional media is just so easy to bash that we forget both have their place (and tactics). The real problem comes when businesses rely solely on traditional media, especially when they ignore what’s being said about their brands on social media, or when they use tactics meant for traditional media on their social media platforms.

Traditional media and social media each have their place. Hence, it’s not a choice, but a system that effectively combines both traditional media and social media into 1 campaign that creates superior ROI.

Maybe a little case study will help. Today, I’ll share my client, Groupsurfing, preparing to introduce their first product, hexsee, into the marketplace.

hexsee, combining traditional media and social media

hexsee provides true social interactivity by creating a private layer over any website. Invited users interact in this layer, leaving comments directly over content and moving independently or together across the internet discovering solutions. A bride might use hexsee with her wedding party to discover dresses, venues, or services. A traveler might use hexsee with their family to plan the perfect vacation. A shopper might invite knowledgeable friends to find the perfect product, a sports enthusiast use friends to construct the perfect fantasy football team, a reader might use hexsee for a virtual book club, or a teacher might construct an interactive learning module by combining websites and questions.

When asked to join Groupsurfing on their pre-launch adventures, they already had a logo design and a prototype of the product. My first task was to develop a clear idea of what the product was and determine how to reach their target market. The co-founders were both tech types — engineering and development — and needed a concise way to convey the benefits and uses of hexsee, rather than the technical features.

But, more than that, they needed a strong user base to support valuation.  My goal was to have 10,000 registered users within 6 months.

Strategy before tactics

Even before discussing traditional media and social media, which are really just tactics, it’s important to lay the groundwork. And that means developing a detailed marketing strategy, relying heavily on understanding your product, your competitors, and your likely consumers.

If you’ve never created a marketing strategy, it’s a time-consuming, but necessary step before starting any kind of marketing. I’ve detailed steps for creating a marketing plan in earlier posts. Plus, there’s a slideshare to help — BTW, it’s received over 45,000 views so a bunch of folks must think it’s valuable.



Laura Lake has this to say about branding:

Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions, some of which you can influence, and some that you cannot.

Her definition is much more inclusive, and accurate, than the AMA definition of branding, which reduces branding to a design endeavor. According to the AMA, a brand is a:

name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers

Sure, design is important, and consistent use of your design across media helps, but branding is really much more than your logo and name. Branding is the hologram that is your brand — a 3-dimensional image of what your brand is, what it does, what problems it solves, and who it’s meant for.

My goal at hexsee, which already employed a great logo reflective of its name and what it does, was to get that logo onto everything we did and get it in the hands of our target market. So, we ordered t-shirts for team members to wear, water bottles and stickers to put in the hands of buyers, and other promotional items used as incentives to get new subscribers.

But, more important, I built an identity for the brand that resonated with potential users. hexsee went from a product that took a couple of pages to explain, to the simple tagline — true social interactivity — with a 1 line value proposition:

No more cutting and pasting, adventures with friends

Traditional media and social media

Only after you’ve identified your target market (and gotten to know them), your competition, and the market environment are you ready to decide on tactics including communication strategies including traditional media and social media.

Rather than an either or strategy, combining traditional media and social media into an integrated marketing communication strategy works best for many businesses — and hexsee is one of them.

Integrated marketing communication builds on the reality that folks need to see your message several times, in different communication channels, according to Forbes. Even Millenials, the most digitally savvy consumers, combine physical shopping with mobile apps in a single shopping excursion.

Hence, traditional media and social media combine with mobile marketing to form a cohesive marketing strategy. But, don’t try doing the same campaign with the same message in both traditional media and social media. That’s doomed for failure. Instead, craft different campaigns on different platforms to optimize ROI.

Here’s what I’m doing for hexsee, with a target market of time-stressed 25-45 year old women. This strategy mirrors successful aspects used in marketing Twitter and Facebook.

Event marketing

Both Twitter and Facebook focused on capturing users in their local area. The major benefit of a local focus early on is that 1) you’re integrated into the social fabric of your local community and 2) you get a lot more bang for your limited bucks.

And, event marketing really capitalizes on both local benefits.

email marketingWe started demoing the product in local meetup groups, either formally or informally using networking time, to show what we could do.

Using Constant Contact, we created QR Codes and Text-to-Join numbers (text hexsee to 22828)  to build our subscriber base — thus integrating digital and real worlds.

Email marketing

Registrations also initiated an email marketing campaign designed to keep subscribers interested until the product launch (planned for 3 months later) and motivate them to get their friends to subscribe.

Here we used a strategy employed successfully by other businesses — using the law of scarcity to stimulate subscribers. The very nature of hexsee, while not a social network, works by encouraging friends to join. Otherwise, there’s no one to go on adventures with. Email marketing hit this point and, while functionally the software doesn’t require your friends join, we suggested they’d want their own account and spaces in the Beta release were filling up fast — which is really true.

Social networks

hexsee uses Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ for very deliberate reasons. Mainly, I didn’t have the bandwidth to maintain a myriad of social networks, so I chose social networks that fit our needs. I also tapped my personal social networks because they were well established, large, and engaged.

  • Twitter made sense because we could use hashtags coupled with event hashtags to amplify our message.
  • YouTube was essential because we can demo the product and do side-by-side comparisons of how easy it is versus cutting and pasting.
  • Google+ makes sense because it’s Google and Google still controls 70% of search. All those +1’s earned on Google+ impact your SERPs (how close to #1 you show up in search).

Each network uses a different format so I craft individual messages for individual networks — relying heavily on video and images to stimulate interest.

Content marketing is an important part of our strategy. Currently, we’re curating content likely to interest our target market. Our new website features a blog where we’ll also craft content that’s valuable for our target market to drive traffic to the website.


And it worked. Signups went from about 2% to 25% of the audience we reached — a whopping 1250% increase leveraging a budget of only about $500.

Traditional media and social media plans

Of course, we’re not stopping there. We’re planning some interesting guerilla marketing for SXSW in March, some traditional PR after the product launches in December, and continuing strategies that are already working for us.

Stay tuned to see if we’re able to sustain our growth.

Need Help?

Whether you need a complete content marketing strategy or a complete metrics-driven social media strategy, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.





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Content Marketing is Different: Traditional Media and Social Networking

content marketing versus link building for SEOLast week I posted results from a study of B2B marketers using content marketing in social media. Major findings from the study show lots of firms using content marketing in their social media strategy, but few finding the hoped for results in market performance. Since that post, I’ve read a number of authors posting their take on the study. Some blame poor performance on a failure to develop a cohesive content marketing strategy. Other blame it on unrealistic expectations on the part of marketers.

Personally, having worked with a number of clients from both B2B and B2C marketing firms, I feel the problem is deeper and involves misunderstanding of how content marketing is different in traditional media and social networking. Too many firms think you can just put up advertising and call it content marketing. While traditional media primarily uses this advertising model, content marketing in social media requires a TOTALLY different approach.

Maybe an example will help.

Content marketing in social media

In the old days, a year or so ago, firms used lots of crazy strategies to keep from creating really useful content. They did this because it is a lot cheaper to manipulate SEO by buying links, reciprocal link building, and keyword stuffing. Google fixed that — first with Panda, then Penguin, and, most recently, Hummingbird (they have an obvious preference for exotic animals). Many firms, especially big firms who invested heavily in SEO experts, have resisted the transition. It just didn’t fit their modus operandi.

Plus, they don’t understand how to create content — content visitors will find valuable and addresses their search queries. Coming from traditional media, they just don’t get that creating content in social media requires knowing your target audience and helping them. You’re no longer paying for their programming and subsidizing their magazines and newspapers. You have no currency to trade except your willingness to HELP them. Content marketing is different in traditional media and social networking.

It’s all me; all the time

Sure, they’re willing to create content about how to use their products, which products are best for which needs, and reviews of their products.  They’re not willing to talk about anything except THEM.

And, frankly, most consumers could care LESS about you. They want solutions to their problems.

Discover problems and provide solutions

Instead of a traditional media strategy of talking about yourself, content marketing in social media means you think about providing value to visitors: information (not about you), entertainment, community, etc.

As an example, a firm selling telecommunication systems created a content marketing strategy around sustainability. What did this have to do with their brand? Nothing except it positioned their brand as a good corporate citizen and provided insights visitors could use to enhance the sustainability of their own firms. The sustainability blog even featured posts about how potential clients were acting on delivering sustainable products. Posts caught the eye of potential clients, keeping the telecom firm top of mind and creating a positive image for the firm. This made the sales person’s job so much easier when contracts came up for bid and resulted in gaining new business for the firm.

I face a similar challenge when I discuss a content marketing strategy with new prospective clients. I even had a prospect tell me they’re really not comfortable talking about anything except their brand in their content marketing in social media. This reflects a fundamental disconnect in understanding how content marketing is different in traditional media and social networking.

Content marketing options

Any number of topics are options for content marketing, depending on the particular target market you serve. All these options build traffic to your site, improve brand image, and keep visitors on your site longer.

  1. Social marketing – for instance, Dove builds confidence in teen girls through their campaign for real women. Several brands include issues of bullying in their content marketing strategies. Any topic supporting social responsibility can fit any brand — it just takes a little creativity.
  2. Gamification – creating entertaining games and apps builds engagement and supports your content marketing strategy. For instance, Geico offers it’s app that let’s you diagram and report an accident through your smartphone. They also offer ringtones and games building on the popularity of their Gecko.
  3. Forums – operating forums offering peer advice and support helps many brands. I did a study of the Disney community and found assistance related to Disney parks, but also help for families traveling with special needs individuals, small children, and inexpensive options.
  4. News – LinkedIN, in an effort to keep folks on their sites longer and visit more frequently is creating and curating new content. Mashable, Social Media Today, and other platforms operating in the social media space fill a similar need for their target audiences.
  5. Information – is probably the granddaddy of content marketing strategy. It builds your reputation as an expert while it’s building visits to your site. Many leading social media marketers feature a blog like this one, where they share their expertise to help businesses struggling to understand this new media. Like me, they don’t fill their blogs with reasons for hiring them or about how they’ve helped their clients, or even about speaking engagements. They fill their blogs with information to help others in a selfless effort.


We’re here for you. Whether you need a complete social media marketing strategy or some consulting to optimize your existing social media marketing, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.


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If Marketing Is Dead, What Do We Do Now?

smart goal

Marketing is Dead

Yesterday, I wrote my commentary on a recent HBR post proclaiming Marketing IS Dead with some well-reasoned evidence that MARKETING IS NOT DEAD.  You might want to check out those comments, here, but please don’t waste your time reading the HBR post — it’s utter nonsense.

What support did the author offer for this thesis that Marketing IS Dead? That a recent study showed CEO’s are tired of spending money and not knowing what they’re getting in return.  Are you kidding me? It sounds like these companies need to find NEW CEO’s because these ones are living in the Dark Ages.  Of course, the author goes on to say that marketing is dead because firms spend their marketing budget on traditional media rather than new media — primarily social media.

Excuse me, but if marketing is dead, why is new media better than traditional media?  And, what do we replace marketing with, if marketing is dead?

Two problems, at least, come from the notion that marketing is dead.  First, marketing is much more than advertising. Second, you can measure ROI, if you know what you’re doing.  Let’s take these problems in order.

Marketing is much more than advertising

There’s this mistaken idea that marketing is just advertising and sales.  In fact, advertising and sales are but a single element of marketing and there are 3 others — product, pricing, and place (distribution).  It also ignores the fact that marketing is a strategic discipline requiring long-term planning to effectively sell a firm’s products.

Marketing focuses on understanding the consumer, how they think, how they process information, what problems they face, how they make decisions.  Without this information, the firm is flying blind and won’t optimize their sales.  I’ve sat in on many high level meetings where brand managers or marketing execs put together a strategy without the first idea of who their consumers were, what they wanted, or how they thought.  They want to jump right in to an advertising campaign with this celebrity endorser, this tagline, this media spend.  Ridiculous.


Marketing has a major role to play regarding products.  Everything from conceptualization of new products to solve consumer problems, to design elements, to managing existing products falls within the marketing concept.  Inherent in this concept is the role of marketing in ensuring consumer satisfaction with your products (and services).  Building a brand image that resonates with consumers is part of marketing.  Target marketing, segmentation, and product positioning are also part of marketing.


While finance, operations, and accounting all have valid input into prices, marketing’s role is in ensuring customer value — that the benefit consumers receive is greater than the costs they pay.  Marketing also focuses on psychological pricing, such as bundling, psychological reactance, and yield management.  The issue of Customer Lifetime Value is also a marketing function.


Here marketing overlaps logistics in terms of ensuring the right product is sold at the right place for the right price at the right time.  Stock-outs, for instance, have a major impact on future sales and marketing focuses on ensuring adequate supply to avoid them.  Where a product is sold impacts its price, amount sold, and the image of the brand.

Within place we also talk about atmospherics and customer service in retail outlets, which overlaps Human Resource Management.

Assessing ROI

It’s nonsense to say you can’t measure ROI in marketing.  Sure, it’s a little harder and a little less direct than assessing the ROI of your stock portfolio or your product sales, but it’s possible if you collect the right data.  By right data, I mean data that translates into sales.  Collecting information on “Likes” is useless, because Likes don’t translate into sales.  On the other hand, engagement DOES translate into sales because engagement amplifies your message.  The more people know about your brand, the more likely they are to buy it, especially when their social network endorses the brand.  Sentiment also translates into sales because satisfied customers are more likely to buy than dissatisfied customers.

Part of what makes calculations of ROI in marketing difficult is that the information isn’t all INTERNAL, like it is for other ROI assessments within the firm.  To calculate ROI in marketing, you also have to track things like engagement, sentiment, and other external data related to consumers.  And, these numbers are a little squishy because you’re working with human emotions not instrument readings that don’t vary with mood.  Just because the numbers are squishy doesn’t make them any less REAL.

Models help marketers know what data to capture and how it likely impacts sales.  One of these is the Hierarchy of Effects.  I’ve developed a Social Media Hierarchy of Effects to help online marketers.

Your Turn

So, what do you think? Do you believe marketing is dead?  Want to know more about marketing and social media? Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates on cutting-edge tools to make your marketing SIZZLE.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service agency operating at the intersection of marketing and social media.  We’d love the opportunity to discuss how we can help you reach your goals.


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Marketing is DEAD??????

social media marketing successThat’s the headline from a recent HBR (HARVARD BUSINESS Review) article — Marketing is Dead!. Huh? Have the bean counters at HBR finally LOST their marbles? Marketing? Dead? Do they propose transitioning from capitalism to a command economy, such as the one rejected by the former Soviet Union and even China finds untenable?  Because, without marketing, there is no consumer choice and, without consumer choice, there’s only room for a single firm in each industry — a monopoly.

Maybe HBR was simply trying to create engagement by generating controversy — which they did.  Nearly 200 readers commented on what a stupid statement this was — Marketing is Dead.  Plus, even the article didn’t support the notion that marketing is dead — merely that it’s transitioned from traditional media to social media.

And, while I acknowledge social media’s place, I don’t

think even traditional media is dead.

The Role of Traditional Media

I really think social media is the world of the future.  Businesses who ignore the power of individual influence on consumer behavior are naive.  I  think firms should move more aggressively into social media and contribute more resources to social media.

That said, firms still need traditional media marketing.  That’s because many folks aren’t on social networks and you still need a way to reach them. 


Done right, your traditional media marketing

supports your social media marketing

Yesterday, I saw an update from a friend who checked in at a theater to see a movie.  Now, unless I’m seeing a movie with friends, it takes more than a casual statement that you’re watching a movie to motivate me.  In this case, I’d already seen several commercials for the new movie and thought it sounded interesting.  The endorsement from my Facebook friend, I might have forgotten about the movie or decided to see another movie I found interesting.  Working together, my motivation to see the movie is greater.

Users are beginning to distrust “friends”

products endorsements

As more firms take shortcuts by compensating consumers for favorable endorsements, social media users are becoming jaded and beginning to distrust their friends’ opinions.  A recent research study by Robert Kozinets found both anger and distrust generated when bloggers were compensated for their product reviews by as little as free products.

I experienced this first hand when a Facebook friend, who is also a dear personal friend, began sharing his love for a particular furniture brand.  He went on for days about how superior the brand was, how innovative, how stylish …I began to get a little suspicious since he’s never gotten so enthusiastic about a brand before.  After some investigation, I discovered his partner recently accepted a sales position with the firm.  Now, I’m much less likely to consider his opinion when making brand choices. I don’t check out pages he “Likes” or follow links he posts.  Heck, I don’t even “Like” his posts anymore. He’s lost all credibility for me.  (Surprisingly, this guy also writes and consults on social media marketing — yet another lesson in being careful when selecting your social media marketing firm).

The same is true for contests.  Firms who get entrants to stir up support from their social network so they can win something generate little interest on my part.  I may go to the page and “Like” it or vote for the entrant to show support, but I’m NO more likely to actually spend any time on the brand’s page or read their posts.  In fact, if they show up on my newsfeed too much (like ever), I’ll just go back in and “unlike” them.  The firm has wasted resources getting engagement from folks who don’t really care about their brand and who might not even be in their target market.

So, firms must exert care in the tools they use to motivate favorable brand mentions in social networks.  And, consultants or employees who advocate for using contests and paying influencers for favorable mentions are dangerous. Here are some ways to get influencers to promote your brand:

  •  Give them tools to promote your brand — especially content tools.  Give them infographics, press releases, and other resources to make it easy for them to mention your brand.
  • Set up press conferences and other events for social media influencers.  Make influencers feel important — just like traditional media outlets.  For instance, NASA recently invited Twitter users to a launch giving them the same access normally reserved for newspapers and broadcast media.  Firms need to stop thinking of influential bloggers and Tweeters as an annoyance and treat them like legitimate media.
  • Recognize their efforts to mention your brand — an “atta boy” goes a long way toward encouraging future mentions.
  • Uncover detractors and offer solutions to prove their previous negative opinions wrong.

Your Turn:

Do you think marketing is dead? Or have the rule simply changed?

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