A few months ago someone abandoned a pregnant cat close to our farm. She found her way to our barn. No one noticed her until the litter of six kittens had matured enough to wander around searching for food. In my perfect world, cats would never be around me. Their dander stimulates every allergic reaction possible. My eyes water and itch. My nose clogs. Breathing becomes a challenge.

We don’t live in a perfect world. My children love cats. When the kittens were discovered, I tried to keep the children away from the barn. In theory, we would find homes for the barn invaders without having to deal with the drama of “Please Mom, we promise to take care of them and they will never be around you.” This theory was flawed because the kittens refused to cooperate and stay in the barn. The lobbying began as soon as the aliens were discovered.

Living on a farm involves a lot of birthing and dying. It’s an expected part of the circle of life. Invaluable lessons are learned from the experience. Sometimes there are surprises (like kittens magically appearing), but most things are predictable. There is a cycle where life starts, produces, and then moves on. Birth and death are not cause and effect. The new life that comes is an addition, not a replacement.

When reading commentary announcing the death of a marketing tactic, I often wonder why people think that the addition of anything new means the loss of something else. Marketing is evolving. New tactics, channels, and platforms are appearing at record speeds. It is an exciting time to be a marketer because we have so many tools for connecting with our customers at our fingertips. Great marketing minds evaluate the options and test to find the best results. They don’t abandon proven tactics for the shiny new toy.

Sometimes the addition of new marketing opportunities improves the results from traditional tactics. The shift to electronic media can lead to increased responses from printed mailings. When people receive less mail, your message is more visible. And, more visibility from your target market generates more sales.

Every marketer has one objective – to find the best way to deliver the message to customers and prospects. There are more opportunities today to connect with people than ever before. The best marketers use every tool, tactic, platform, and channel available to create lifelong relationships. They see new additions as opportunities, not replacements. Isn’t it time we stopped prematurely announcing the death of marketing tactics and started focusing on optimizing results?

PS: For anyone curious about the outcome of kittygate, homes were found for the mom and all of the kittens except two. I gave in to the argument that they would be barn cats and take care of the mice. Fat chance they’ll ever catch a mouse because they are fed twice daily. I’ll take solace in the fact that they are living in the barn instead of my house.