Marketing is Dead, Here’s What’s Left

You know that scene in Beauty and the Beast where the village people break down the castle door? No? Here’s a refresher, it starts at 1:59.

That scene represents marketing of yester-year. Think of the giant tree stump as your brand message and the poor wooden door as the senses of the unsuspecting marketplace. For years marketers mercilessly participated in a full-on assault on all of our senses. It was effective, we think. But, dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the death of marketing, well at least as we know it and in its place, a new atmosphere that is in desperate need of some T-P-R-L-C (Tender Public Relations Love & Care). 

moment of silence 

That kind of full-assault marketing had a nice run. It really did. But it left something incredible in it’s wake. Something I like to call “Opportunity Marketing.” 

For those of us with a PR background, this leaves an interesting atmosphere, rich with opportunity, particularly for those with an emphasis in media relations. Those who frequently pitch and respond to media understand that importance of seizing opportunity, which is at the heart of opportunity marketing.

Why PR folks are great marketers in today’s economy.

The “always plugged in” mentality that public relations pros embody is what makes them perfect for a world driven by opportunity marketing and why, in my opinion, you see more and more PR people crossing the chasm and moving marketing more towards a strategic communications, planning and opportunity orientation.

Opportunity marketing and the public relations skillset overlap most commonly in the online world.

Social Media

Building and interacting with a community for a brand isn’t all that much different then the tremendous amount of networking PR pros have to do professionally for both clients and self. It’s not a huge shock to see so many with a PR background defining this new frontier.


This also shouldn’t come as a shock. PR folks who constantly pitch the media learn what makes relevant content really fast, and therefore are built for content marketing. Additionally, a lot of PR folks tend to have journalism backgrounds, present company included. So content marketing is a natural fit for those of use who practice a “softer sell.”

PR in General

Perhaps the coolest trend in the notion of opportunity marketing is that, whether you adopt the buzzword or not really doesn’t matter. It’s been my experience throughout my career that more and more businesses are understanding the nuances of how marketing has changed and are finding more and more often that PR folks have the right mix to be successful at it, bringing the marketing and PR functions closer together.

All three have a common denominator rooted in constant vigilance to seize opportunity as a means of effectively achieving generally marketing oriented goals.

What are your thoughts? Is marketing evolving into a PR playground?

Ryan Ruud is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Four51, Inc. a Minneapolis based software company that creates commerce and social media marketing apps for businesses big to small touching half the Fortune500. Four51 technology is used in all 50 states and in more than 40 countries around the world.

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