THE MARKETING REVOLUTION IS HERE
I’m a dinosaur, pushing 60 years of age. I grew up in an age when marketing meant bending, twisting, shouting, cajoling, sex-appealing, manipulating, and pleading to get people to BUY! BUY! BUY! It was a one-way message: from the seller to the would-be buyer. We talk. You listen. Any questions? Not interested. Just buy!
No more. And we can blame that on (or thank) the web. Now, I’m not a faddist, and I’m slow to change. But I’m convinced – zero doubts — that we are entering nothing short of a revolution in how marketing is done … at least effective marketing. Remember, “audiences” can now click past our ads, change channels, ignore our direct and indirect messages more effectively than ever before. “Today, 90 percent of the people who can avoid TV ads through TiVo, DVD recording, or the skip button on the VCR remote do so,” says Larry Weber in Marketing to the Social Web.
The bottom line: We aren’t in control anymore (not that we ever were … really). Marketers can no longer dictate a top-down message. Today, successful marketers are “aggregators,” not broadcasters. We don’t so much sell as we build experiences, along with buying opportunities. Big difference. The customers are in charge. And I think that’s good, because that means if we give them what they want – mostly in terms of information, experiences (call that emotive selling) and the power to buy what they want (choice of customized products), when they want (at 2:00 AM in their jammies, if they like) and how they want (online, instore, inhome, at the beach) — they will buy.
The bottom line squared: It is a new world. Opportunities abound. Just don’t think the old rules still apply. Better yet, learn the new ones.
I recommend a good place to start is with Larry Weber’s book, Marketing to the Social Web. There are lessons to be learned and dollars to be earned on every page. Excerpts from Weber:
• “A symptom of how things are changing: nearly every commercial during the Super Bowl is designed to send viewers to a digital destination.”
• “People don’t want to be sold.”
• “People do want news and information about the things they care about – and they want it right now.”
• “Community building – with communities focusing on a specific common interest – is one of the fastest growing applications on the Web.”
Work hard. Make money. Learn the new rules. And have fun. — jri
Blatant commercial time: Need help learning and profiting from the terrain under the new rules of marketing. I help my clients identify their competitive advantages, build brand identity, compile strategies for tackling the challenges of marketing, and (finally, oh, yes, almost forgot) increase sales. Give me a call or drop me an email. The first visit is on me. I’ll even buy lunch … even if you’re in Timbuktu.
March 2, 2010