There was an interesting article on Harvard Business Review - HBR - "Marketing Is Dead", by Bill Lee on August 9, 2012. I don't fully agree.
Marketing, traditional or otherwise, can be defined as a combination of creating awareness, generating interest, leading a prospect to contact you and get information, get a trial and ultimately allow the sales process to consummate into a sale.
Within this framework, I do not agree with a blanket statement that ‘Traditional marketing is dead’. What has changed is the way things are done. People are still paying attention, you are still ‘advertising’, you are still doing public relations, you are still building a brand.
What has changed is the medium and methodology.
If Marketing is defined and measured by set rules and metrics, then it is the role of the marketing department or person to achieve those goals; irrespective of the method; traditional, online, social, word-of-mouth, or any such term you may want to use.
What has simply changed is the dynamics. Newer technologies such as social media now accelerates the way buyers access information, the way existing customers spread the word, the way companies build and promote a brand, the way companies ‘reach out’ to the media (twitter).
Therefore, instead of using the words – ‘traditional marketing is dead’, a more apt phrase may be ‘traditional tools of marketing are dead’.