By some measurements, we're reaching Day 60 of the COVID-19 Quarantine, and in the current situation, people are questioning if sales and marketing still work.
Historically, the way people buy is always changing.
Brainwashing - 60 years ago, the goal was to create the catchiest jingle and then simply roadblock the 4 major television networks until everyone knew the tune.
Endorse-a-thon - Just 20 years ago, the answer was to get a celebrity to wear your product or endorse your brand. Being pushed by Oprah or liked by Mike was the rocket ship to sales and fame.
Leadership - Today, rather than leverage the television monopoly or find that celebrity endorsement or key online influencer, it's easier than ever to reach directly to the people you want to work with and show who you are and what you do.
The tactics change, but the principles behind the tactics have remained the same. In order to buy, people must know you exist and want what you're selling.
Once you're looking at it with this filter, all marketing is the game of getting in front of your audience and telling them what you do.
Often the strategy is boiled down to getting The Right Message to the Right Person at the Right Time. But even with this timeless, proven strategy, every few decades we see a paradigm shift in the tactics used to achieve it.
Depending on what you're selling and where your audience is, a celebrity endorsement by Oprah or Ellen (estimated at 15M viewers/day) may not make a blip in sales. During the pioneering days of influencer marketing, I saw brands get fantastic impact through bloggers with 10k loyal monthly viewers. The key wasn't quantity, but influence. Finding who was leading the opinions of the audience you wanted to reach.
It's the evolution of marketing we've all waited for. If you're an expert in your field and providing something of value, the people who need it are looking for you. Your job now is to make it easy for them to find you and buy what you do.