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  • 08.09.08

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.

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?

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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.

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