Marketing is dead, long live marketing. It should come as news to nobody that an increased online presence, monopolised by a few major platforms, combined with those platforms offering affordable advertising solutions, means that the effectiveness of traditional mass-media has been reduced unthinkably.

For a period of time, simply saying something was enough. Everyone was watching and if you were bold enough to put it online, you could gain some significant traction through social media and online advertising. For some, with niche or easily explained products, that is still the case – and  those businesses need to worry about fulfilment and scalability rather than marketing for growth.

For rest of us, just saying something is no longer enough. Now, we need to be saying something meaningful, that resonates with our chosen audience. However, The clunky term ‘content marketing’, is misleading, in the sense that publishing content is no longer enough, and understanding the journey from content creation through to purchase is now critical, as this discipline becomes more scientific and less scattergun.

Good practitioners, are no longer publishing whatever they feel like in order to gain hits and clicks through well-placed hashtags and strategic content. Now, they are tracing the path-to-purchase from click through to invoice, and are measuring and tracking every stage of the buying process. Likes, clicks and inane comments are no longer real estate cherished by businesses, as industries become aware of the importance of small engaged communities, rather than larger unengaged crowds. Of course, additional preference is given to large, engaged communities.

It’s unlikely that the monopoly of Facebook and its rivals is set to change, although no doubt in decades to come, legislators will start to play closer attention to the dominance of these businesses. But in the meantime innovations in tracking and tracing, and the ability of marketers to build robust evidence based processes for individual clients, mean that the creation of content that matters, combined with a delivery process that is measured, tested and adjusted until it’s at its optimum is vital, and mandatory.

Thankfully, the days of guesswork and the perception of success, without the revenue associated with it, are over. marketing initiatives can now be focused on what really matters, creating tangible value within businesses. While there will be a few that refuse to yield to this level of accountability, the technology and freedom of information afforded by this new market will mean that those who embrace it, will profit through increased client revenues – and silence any naysayers as to the value of online marketing initiatives.

The formula is simple. Create content that changes minds, then use the available tools to get it in front of the right people, and explain clearly how they can purchase from you.