How to Move Clients from Old Marketing to New: Synthesize!

Posted on August 8, 2011. Filed under: Business Strategy, Communications, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Synthesize old and new marketing.

Jose James Synthesizes the Old and The New Jazz

I read a recent study revealing that only a small percentage of small businesses are using social media and other online tools for their marketing. Of those who have used or are using online marketing, even a smaller fraction considers the new tools essential.

These statistics support what I’ve been recognizing anecdotally as I speak with small businesses about inbound marketing and new online marketing tools. There’s indeed a resistance to adopting these new methods, even though there’s plenty of evidence that online is where potential buyers are already looking for products and services these days.

I’ve been chalking up this phenomenon of reticence to a need for more education. And I still believe this is true. But a personal experience I had this past weekend triggered another thought: The way to encourage adoption of the new is to synthesize it with familiar experiences and expectations.

Here’s what happened. Jeff and I attended the annual jazz festival at Caramoor, a marvelous summer music venue outside New York City.

The first artist on the bill was a wonderful guitarist from Cuba, Juan Carlos Formell, with a group called Johnny’s Dream Club. All of the tunes were new to us and sung in Spanish. They also shared an enervating sameness of tone and tempo, so although the music was beautifully played, at the end of the set we were happy to move on.

The next set brought James Farm to the stage, a group of fine young players led by the saxophonist Joshua Redman, son of the legendary Dewey Redman and now becoming a legend in his own right. The program notes asked that we, “keep an open mind,” for an hour of original music composed by members of the band. That meant another hour of nothing familiar and in a musical style that had Jeff, a musician and drummer, complaining that he couldn’t even tap his toes or bop his head to it.

We were expecting more of the same in set three, to be performed by a vocalist Jose James, who apparently has been around for awhile, but who neither of us had heard before. The program notes cited his influences, which included Prince, hip-hop, electronica, spoken word jazz and avant garde poetry in addition to jazz standards.

I can’t wait to hear Jose James again and will go to some trouble to seek him out. First of all, he has a marvelous baritone voice, reminiscent of the late Johnny Hartman who recorded an iconic album with the great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. In fact, Jose James is reviving that collaboration on a tour with former Coltrane pianist McCoy Tyner.

That said, the set was anything but a re-churn of the past. James synthesized all of his contemporary influences with historic expectations of a swinging jazz set to create one of the freshest hours of music I’ve heard in a long time. It was fun to hear street rhythms applied to standards.

His love of spoken word makes him an innovative scat singer qualified to grab the baton from none other than my all time favorite jazz singer, Mark Murphy, who is almost 80 now and whose artistry I’ve shared on this blog – beginning with the second post back in 2009 where you can hear him. The set included covers of well-known R&B tunes, which helped carry us along into less charted waters – an original or two with hip-hop riffs.

During the set, the familiar and the new brilliantly synthesized into something so appealing and energizing that we wanted to embrace it. As I approach existing clients and new prospects about the benefits of applying new marketing approaches to meet their business goals, you can bet that I’ll be referencing marketing basics that still provide a solid foundation for what’s now and what comes next.

How are you synthesizing past and present techniques to motivate wider acceptance of today’s marketing tools?


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4 Responses to “How to Move Clients from Old Marketing to New: Synthesize!”

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I’m not, but I have no need to I suppose. I wonder though, how you would advise someone in a tiny niche market, a potential poet laureate perhaps, to find a target audience, knowing they have little chance to reach the masses with a disappearing art that already gets little recognition via social networking? Thinking of this poet as a business woman [with an agent] and small-time publishing success, how would you use past and present techniques to explore recent tools? It seems to be a much easier task for most.

Thinking about your question, it seems that it partly relates to the synthesis I was speaking to in the post, but adds more fodder for discussion.

I think it’s never been easier to locate niche target markets using the web and social tools – Twitter searches, tags, hashtags, LinkedIn groups and plain old Google search. There’s barely a niche market I’ve searched for and haven’t found online — and some I haven’t searched for but have been surprised to stumble on. Case in point…Here’s a short link to United Poets Laureate International – World Congress of Poets, dedicated to world peace and happiness through poetry. 😉 I imagine aspiring laureates are more than welcome.

Helping people to adopt the new ideas the laureates are undoubtedly coming up with – just like in the case of new marketing ideas and technologies — is another story and that’s where it helps to meld the old with the new to keep potential audiences from running in fear from change.

Reviving dying or aging artforms is yet another matter and one that can also benefit from a mindset of synthesis. And it’s where pure creativitiy and innovation come into play. Jose James, the example in my post has done a great job of building on jazz roots and has seen how to connect them to the emerging forms of his generation – forms that have been criticized for a lack of musicality compared with earlier music. What he’s managing to do is to appeal to traditionalists as well as his peers by synthesizing all of his influences in a new, improved form, while creating the opportunity to connect with a much broader audience.

Thank you for your thought-provoking comment. Not sure whether there’s an answer to your question in my reply, but we can’t go wrong thinking about any and all of this!! Ellie

Thanks so much for such a thoughtful response! Lots of great points here!

It is all about hybrid marketing. The best of classic marketing combined with the new Web 2.0 collaborative tools.

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