Be a Practitioner Not a Marketer

In 2015 around 79 billion dollars was spent on television advertising in America. In total advertisers spent a whopping 187 billion with less than 30% going digital (most to google clicks). In that same year most of the fortune 500 companies saw a decrease in market share.

As attention has waned on traditional media the price of advertising has increased sometimes exponentially and the big guys are beginning to notice. Money is starting to shift to social media platforms and it isn’t going to stop.

I am not saying that people don’t watch TV or read magazines. What I am saying is traditional media is overpriced and social media is a steal. Those of you who are using social media and paying to advertise now are like the first people that advertised on television. The radio people said TV would never last. Remember that?

With that said I do still think we have a few years of golden opportunity left advertising in the social economy. It is a totally different platform. It will take the big guys a while to figure it out. You can’t wait until they do.

Think of it like this. Coca-Cola wants to spend 10 million on a campaign. They call an ad agency. An ad is developed, filmed, focus grouped, then time is bought on television. This whole process takes a few months but for the Coke marketer all it took was a phone call. It was easy. Coke understands the process and the return. In addition, the guy probably got paid based on how much money he spent so he may not care what it costs (to me that is insane but that is often how it works). It is Marketing and it is broken.

Now take how I run my 1933 page on Facebook. Someone posts on my page. I within minutes respond to them in some way. In fact, we respond to every comment, every rating, every message, and use the search bar to find comments that might include 1933. We use the site to build two way relationships. We listen. I spend hours every day doing this. Yes, there are times that we run ads. There are times we use the site as a call to action, but mostly it is the long play. It is the marathon not the sprint. It is Jab, Jab, Right Hook as Gary Vanerchuck would say.  This is not easy. It’s called being a Practitioner and it is work.

For now the Social Economy is lost on most of the Fortune 500 and that is good for you. Yes, it’s cheaper and effective but it is also harder. It is a lot of work. If you are not up to the challenge I implore you to call the local paper or TV station and spend your money there. You can’t use traditional marketing techniques in the Social Economy. You will be labeled a fraud. However, if you don’t mind the game, if you don’t mind the extra work I am telling you there is gold in them there hills.

Stafford Shurden is a marketing and business coach and has been in business for himself for 20 years. He also owns 1933 Restaurant, Shurden Farms, and Stafford Media. You can email Stafford at 


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