Friday, December 09, 2005

The Dead Old World and
The Brave New World

More validation to the message we preach here at Context Rules Marketing: This time it is from Kevin Clancy, author of Counterintuitive Marketing, as reported in CMO Magazine.

"Every place you look in marketing today, you see more failure than success. Marketing Management Analytics recently reported that for every $100 invested in advertising for a specific product, the return is only $58. Customer satisfaction across a broad range of industries is only 74%. The fact is: Failure is rampant."

A $100 Investment to Get Back $58?

You can get more of Kevin's point of view in CMO's webcast series on innovative influencers.

We have been reporting on similar dismal statistics for a decade. But the tree falls in the forest silently. The Dead Old World plods on without realizing it has no pulse. Where are the CMOs who have the courage to see the truth? Where are the professional marketers who are ready to enter The Brave New World?

What does that Brave New World look like?

It looks upside down to most traditional marketers.

Instead of hawking products, we need to build relationships. Today, the second a prospect identifies himself by requesting a free whitepaper or entering a sweepstakes, the traditional marketer launches an arsenal to sell that prospect a product. The communications become all about how wonderful this product is and how great the company is.

This is rubbish.

The customer will have no more of it.


The customer is looking for people who understand his problem, his pain. We need to talk about that pain with the customer and demonstrate that we understand his business and what he's trying to do. Earn the right to continue the dialogue. Instead of pitching your product, you get into his context and teach him new ways to accomplish his goals. Then you can help him purchase.

Can you see where helping a customer purchase is different than selling something to the customer?

The dialogue is completely different. It is upside down from today. But why hold on to "today." The facts have already told you "today" is a failed strategy.

I call it "contextual marketing" but whatever you want to call it ... we all need to build a relationship with the customer, we all need to earn the right to remain in the dialogue, we all must help the customer buy, we all must focus on the buying cycle instead of the selling cycle.

If not, we are doomed to repeat failure until the CEO cuts our budget from under us.

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