Monday, April 23, 2007

More change.

Tom Asacker's motto is borrowed from Kurt Vonnegut: "I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."
Tom is a business speaker, author, marketing guru and blogger. A few months ago he published an article, discussing the need for change in marketing. Just as a warning: You will encounter many metaphors. Trust me.

Below is my favorite part of the article:

The Masses Have Left the Tree

"The marketplace of old resembled a mass of caterpillars hanging around the tree of traditional media,venturing down the branches of mass distribution, and consuming the offshoots of brand advertisers. No more. The masses have escaped their pupae, spread their distinctive wings, and are fluttering around fields blossoming with an abundance of colorful and succulent offerings. A fleeting glimpse is all one usually gets of them. So what’s a marketer to do in this chaotic environment of abundant products andservices, fast-flying consumers, and a rapidly changing landscape?

Will Rogers once remarked, “Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.” Orderly inaction describes today’s ineffectual, status quo marketing. Chaotic action is the new marketing imperative; to wit:

1. Be wherever and whenever your audience is most receptive to your message (verifiable metrics be damned). Like butterflies (okay, enough with the metaphors), consumers are best observed when they are “feeding.” With some experience, you’ll quickly learn to find "hot-spots" of butterfly activity;

2. Get their attention by being unique, relevant, and authentic. Bright, plastic flowers may attract butterflies from a distance. But once they get close enough, if it’s the wrong species or devoid of aromaand taste, they’ll quickly flit away to something worth engaging with;

3. Deliver value in exchange for their time, since the key to long-term marketing success (read: ROI) is toget them to come back for more, and to bring all of their friends; and

4. Keep notes on what you observe regarding the habitat, the offering, the way the butterfly moves and communicates, and other matters of interest. And you can leave your nets at home. You’re not trying to capture anything.

The marketing times they certainly are a-changin'. Unfortunately for us marketers, that's about the only thing we can be certain of today."

Makes me think about 70/20/10 rule. Should companies only invest 10% in experimental marketing even though we know that some part of the 70% is wasted because we're not able to connect with consumers anymore? Or should it be rather 40/30/30? The latter will offer more opportunities for rapid improvements. 70/20/10 might be too conversative for these progressive times.

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