The marketing world loves to jump on bandwagons or shiny new toys.

A few years ago, it was social media. Then, content marketing became the belle of the ball, followed by storytelling.

These days, cold-calling is being embraced as the hottest marketing and sales tool.

Why blast away with content, social media or online advertising when you can – wait for it – talk to potential customers on the telephone.

Yes, it is old school marketing and sales. High-profile marketers such as Steli Efti are promoting free e-books, while Amazon is teeming with books on how to successfully use cold-calling to drive higher sales.

So why the unbridled enthusiasm? With so many marketing technologies at their disposal, marketers and salespeople are excited about telephone calls.

Theory #1: It is increasingly difficult to capture the attention of prospects. There’s too much information coming at consumers, too many emails and too much advertising. (Note: Google recently introduced a new ad blocker.) If you’re unable to attract the spotlight, desperate times call for desperate measures, which explains the interest in cold-calling.

Theory #2: Marketing automation is losing its effectiveness. In theory, it makes complete sense to super-charge your marketing with automation technology. It’s an efficient way to nurture prospects based on their interests and actions. Marketing automation is the 21st century of the Ronco Rotisserie Oven, which featured the tagline “Set it and forget it”.

Theory #3: People buy from people. Salespeople haven’t been replaced by robots because many purchases are fueled by relationships, particularly high-value products. For some products, it takes time for consumers to come around. They want to be educated, engaged and nurtured before they make a buying decision. No one wants to buy the wrong product or service so salespeople can deal with objections, concerns, and hesitation.

Theory #4: In an ultra-competitive world, companies are desperate to generate results. They will explore anything that can move the needle at a time when almost everything can be measured. Brands know if a marketing tool isn’t generating results, which leads to impatience and the search for new and better tools.

Maybe the emergence of cold-calling is simply a return to an effective sales and marketing tool. After all, it worked for decades so why should it be abandoned?

What do you think? Why has cold-calling become sexy again? Is it desperation? Is it brands being practical.

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