Today’s guest post is written by Margie Clayman.
Have you ever watched The Princess Bride?
If not, you really need to get on that. Go ahead. I’ll wait for you.
Now for the rest of you, I’m sure you know and remember Miracle Max, the character played by Billy Crystal and a lot of make-up.
Max is the one who tells Andre the Giant and friends that Wesley (played by Cary Elwes) is only mostly dead. He further points out (and logically so) that if you are only mostly dead, you are partially alive.
This scene comes to mind often when I am navigating the online waters. It seems like everything these days is apt to be declared entirely, 100 percent dead. In fact, just yesterday someone on Twitter informed me that she saw someone proclaim brick and mortar universities dead.
Just don’t tell Harvard. Or Ohio State.
With that in mind, I thought I would pull in some Miracle Max expertise. I interviewed him about 11 things I’ve seen proclaimed dead so I could get his professional opinion.
Below is a summary of the items I asked him about, as well as his responses.
- Direct Mail: “Direct mail dead? Pht. When Victoria’s Secret stops sending out paper catalogs, I’ll declare direct mail fully dead. I do love those catalogs. I get them for the well-written photo captions.” (Max’s wife Valerie was heard yelling “LIAR!” as we recorded this conversation).
- Advertising: “If advertising is dead, why are search engines using television commercials to promote themselves? Why is Google, which is as evil as Humperdink, using advertising to promote itself? No no, advertising is not dead. People may not like it but I hate Humperdink and he’s doing fine.”
- Websites: “What, so people are going to use Google+ or a Facebook page instead of a website? No, no, no. You need a website like you need chocolate to make my medicine go down easier.”
- Public Relations: “You know why people hate PR? Because it can make people like Humperdink look good with the right spin. But I tell you something. PR isn’t even mostly dead. It’s just changing.”
- B2B or B2C Marketing: “Yeah, when I pumped air into the lungs of some of these people what came out was “P2P.” This is stupid. Obviously if you’re marketing you’re talking to other people, whether they’re in a business or whether they’re individuals. We’re not selling to robots yet. BO, BM, whatever marketing isn’t dead because people like the sound of P2P better. Makes my prostate flare up though, just thinking about it.”
- Marketing: “Marketing is dead? I have a poster on my house wall outside that says, “I’m Miracle Max. I perform miracles.” If I didn’t have that how would people know I’m not just an old man living with a witch? (Valerie is heard to yell, “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!”) Marketing is not even remotely dead. That doesn’t even make sense.”
- Email: “Someone I brought back to life once started talking to me about email. He said something interesting. What do you need in order to sign in to most social media sites? Yeah, email is nowhere close to being dead.”
- The Internet: “I guess people are saying the Internet is dead because mobile is catching on. I like looking at other women but Valerie hasn’t died yet. You can like more than one thing, you know?” (Valerie is heard yelling, “Humperdink, Humperdink, Humperdink!)
- Podcasting: “You need to talk to Christopher Penn about this. Yeah, I know him. He helped calm me down when Humperdink first had me fired. He knows a lot more about this podcasting than I, but he says it isn’t dead, I say it isn’t dead. It’s not dead.”
- The Laptop: “Let me ask you something. If the laptop is dead or dying, why did Apple just launch a bunch of new shiny laptops? Not even mostly dead. Next.”
- Agencies: “You know why people declare agencies dead? Because so many people paint pictures of agencies as being evil. Humperdink is evil. Some agencies are evil. Not all agencies are evil. Not all princes are evil. And having a few evil apples doesn’t make the whole barrel evil. Or dead.”
So there you have it. It seems all 11 things that have been declared dead aren’t really dead. Many of them aren’t even mostly dead, and this is coming from a real professional!
If you have anything you’d like Miracle Max to check on, let me know. He might even weigh in on the comments for you.
Margie Clayman is the Director of Client Development at Clayman Advertising, Inc., her family’s full-service marketing firm. Margie is the third generation of her family to work there! Margie blogs at www.margieclayman.com. You can follow her on Twitter @margieclayman.
Margie has authored a book called The ABCs of Marketing Myths, which you can read about here.