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In defence of Classic Marketing: Observations from the Multichannel Marketing Room at the Festival of Marketing

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by Richard Lawrence: Head of Brand: Weetabix

Last week I was lucky enough to host the Multichannel Marketing Room at the Festival of Marketing and, as such, I introduced a variety of thought provoking presentations from businesses as diverse as Lovehoney (I had to look that one up obviously…) Guinness World of Records, Dell and O2, as well as some great agency presentations from Econsultancy and dotmailer.

Naturally the focus of the day (not just in the multichannel room) was very much towards digital channels, however, my overwhelming take-out was that despite the rapid and exciting development of new and innovative channels and consumer touchpoints, the importance of applying classical marketing techniques and disciplines is as important as ever.


This was illustrated by the stand-out quote of the day by Skip Fidura from dotmailer: “Multichannel marketing was invented the day after the second marketing channel was invented,” and the comparison between today’s online environment and the medieval marketplace by Jim Clark from Econsultancy - they are both immediate, driven by word of mouth and highly personalised!

The more things change, the more they stay the same!

Today, just as it has always been, it is vital to:

  • Have a deep understanding of the consumer or customer
  • Know and prioritise the key channels in which they want or are able to receive your message
  • Make that message relevant to your consumer and convert to sale
  • However, modern multi-channel marketers (i.e. all of us!) can now:
  • Leverage online captured data to really understand their consumers/customers
  • Test and learn the optimum message, often in realtime
  • Truly personalise and adapt their message

All underpinned by the opportunity to demonstrate true Return On Investment to their more sceptical colleagues.

All in all it was a fascinating day and I hope I’m invited back next year. In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts on modern multichannel marketing and any key lessons.