Friday, April 07, 2006

Marketing Principles Will Guide Us in the
Customer Communications Revolution

Customers and Technology Changing the Rules

We must stop the madness, folks.

Here's one pathway to sanity

Just as all entrepreneurial success is gained through the understanding and the following of right principles, and not rules, so too is success gained only by marketing and sales organizations which understand and follow faithfully proper principles.

In the words of Robert McKee, a rule states 'you must do it this way." A principle states 'this works, and works well - and has done so through all remembered time."

This difference is so critical that we must adhere to principles when developing marketing ideas, and not to rules.

Every artistic master gained mastery of the form of that art through a thorough understanding and a disciplined following of time proven principles. Marketing and sales organizations must also actively engage in study and apply thorough thought and persistently rigorous and disciplined practice and execution. This is the only means to gain the necessary knowledge needed to consistently win highly profitable business in today's intensively competitive world.

Why this preamble?

Because the world of marketing is changing so fast and so radically, that only principles can sustain us through the revolution.

We now live in a world where technology is expanding perhaps even faster than Moore's Law.

We cannot hold back technology's impact on marketing, on advertising, on public relations. If it is technologically possible, it will happen. Period.

AT&T cannot coerce us to pay $2.00 a minute for a transatlantic phone call when you can use Skype with computer-to-computer phone calls at $0.02 a minute. Blockbuster cannot stop NetFlix. In this world, we no longer need cable companies to send us programming. RFID is creating smart shelves that can tell monitors if you pick up a product and put it back down. The 3 billion paper coupons printed and distributed by a patchwork quilt of distribution media will fall to electronic coupons that are self-selected by consumers with very high redemption rates compared to the current 98% waste. There's 400 iPods sold every minute and along with cell phones, we are moving from mass media to slivercasting enabled by such innovations as TiVo, SqueezeBox, SlingBox and all sorts of boxes that give individuals the power to download entertainment without advertising.

Time is running out on old, unaccountable and inefficient and unwelcome advertising.

But marketing principles can carry us through the revolution -- targeting, relevance, clarity, creative ideas and cross-media consistency. What we need to do is to apply the solid principles to the targeted, addressable, personally relevant messaging and distribution over new media and embracing accountable measurement. It will be an exciting future.


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