Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

No One Cares, You Are Doing It Wrong, And That Is Awesome

Marketers are confused these days. The things that have worked for decades aren’t working anymore. Can you imagine if you worked for 30 years in your given vocation and then, almost over night, all the rules changed?

In truth, marketing is only now becoming what it truly should have been - a conversation. Less lies, less spin. Marketers have been shoveling marshmallow fluff down the mouths of Americans and telling them it’s broccoli. And suddenly, as quick as you can confuse metaphors, we find that the emperor has no clothes.

I admit I’ve been frustrated with the old-school marketers. "What is with these guys, and why can’t they get it together?" But that’s not fair. Their whole world has shifted beneath them. I came to a better understanding watching a recent Robert Scoble interview with IBM engineer Mike Moran. (I highly encourage you to check it out: Robert Scoble’s interview with Mike Moran. It’s only 12 minutes long and well worth your time.)

Moran gives a cogent explanation of why marketers are having such a difficult time in the new web 2.0 environment. Here is a small sample:

"The change that’s really happening is you have to learn how to attract people to your message rather than pushing it at them. You have to figure out how you’re going to listen when they talk back. And you also have to watch what they do. Those three things are really critical because once you do them, you have to figure out how to respond.

Those three things are really critical because once you do them, you have to figure out how to respond. When I say ‘Do it wrong quickly,’ it’s not you trying to do it wrong, it’s that you kind of admit that what you’re doing is probably wrong because it usually is. And then you have to look back at the feedback from your target market to see how far off it is so that you know what to do next. And that’s really a tough change for a lot of marketers.

That seems really simple, but think of it: a whole industry has changed in a matter of what, less than a decade? That is pretty outstanding. It’s going from monologue to dialogue, from lecture to conversation, from directing to caring, from crossed fingers to metrics.

Continue reading No One Cares, You Are Doing It Wrong, And That Is Awesome

Add New Comment


  • Camine Pappas

    This is a concise, lucid treatise on the Yang of this shifting marketing paradigm.

    Most people are still "Yinging." Wondering why gravity is pulling them the other way when it's them hanging from the ceiling as they resist the current trend to listen, communicate, connect and as illustrated here, admit they might be wrong.

    As a proponent of these trends and a brand/marketiing business owner slash serf, I have now begun to call myself a marketing therapist. Healing and eliminating fear are my new archetypes. Bringing companies back to their original dogmas is my mantra.

    If we're ever going to find fluidity again in the marketplace, authenticity must play a role in rediscovering ourselves in the quest to offer real solutions and not just make and sell overblown and bloated commodities.