The ‘Columbusing’ of Marketing


Columbusing’ is when you “discover” something that’s existed forever, per this story by NPR.

And as I read the article, I realized it’s what’s going on in marketing for the past 5 years or so.  And it’s been driving me crazy.

Well, okay, crazier.

Reading all those articles and posts about how “storytelling” is important, as if this is something only realized thanks to the Internet and content marketing and social networking.

Well, storytelling isn’t new.  Check out the Rolls Royce ad or the Hathaway shirt ad by Ogilvy.

Heck, content marketing is not new.

Native advertising is just advertorials.

Growth hacking is the new inbound marketing – though it sounds just like marketing up until the point where the person defending the term says “….yeah but it’s different…” – and even inbound marketing isn’t new.

(Note: Personally, the term “inbound marketing” is crap.  The definition of inbound marketing is “marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospect’s attention.”    Think about it.  Marketing is creating content and optimizing it for SEO and then posting it and pushing it out through social media channels. A marketer is going out into the market to get the prospect’s attention, to interrupt their lives.)

Now I am all for differentiation but that differentiation has to be real, not imaginary.  I mean, these ‘marketers’ are spending a great deal of time trying to create a point of differentiation that doesn’t really exist and isn’t really necessary.

Maybe marketers need to spend more time focused on generating revenue rather than generating new terminology?  What do you think?  Is it time to put aside the Columbusing of Marketing and focus on the achievement of critical goals and objectives for the business?

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