I'm not sure when it happened or even what day it was... but somewhere, sometime recently, marketing as we known it died. That's right, you can drive the Chevy, or the Ford or the Mercedes to the levy but unlike New Orleans in the summer of 2005, that puppy is going to be dry.
It used to be our job was to sell stuff.
Today though, I think it is our job to help consumers make buying decisions.
It's a different approach. It's less about telling them what we want them to hear -- our USP -- and more about understanding what they need to hear. And not in a used car salesman type of way -- just tell them what they want to hear so they'll buy -- but seriously engaging consumers before, during and after the sale to create a shared understanding of the role of our products/services in their lives.
By taking the time to reach this deeper understanding of "role" I think we as marketers can not only be more effective but will actually become more creative. More creative in our marketing, our product development and ultimately even our advertising.
In his book Unmarketing, [not an affiliate link] Scott shares a hilarious passage about how companies actually try and teach their folks how to cold call better. How companies will find any way possible to get around things like the Do Not Call List. Think about that for a minute... then after you stop laughing read on. Go ahead... I can wait.
It just kills companies when they're told they can't sell. But imagine how successful you might become if you just accept it and instead of selling, simply start focusing on helping me make the best buying decision...even if that decision might be to buy from a competitor.
Imagine the trust you'd build with me. Imagine what I'd tell a friend who asked my opinion about your brand/product. Would I tell them to buy the product/service I bought? Maybe. But I'm guessing I'd also (likely before telling them to buy what I bought) tell them to check you out. Why? Because I'd feel confident that you'd help them make the right buying decision too. And afterall, isn't that what I'd want for my friend... for them to make the right buying decision?Isn't that the core reason they asked my opinion in the first place?
Yes, I'm pretty sure that marketing is dead... just no one bothered to tell the marketers. Or maybe they couldn't hear us because they were too busy selling.
Or maybe I'm just full of shit and don't have a clue. What do you think?
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