Light that Never Turns Green By: @shannavannorman CreditAll ye who worship marketing guru extraordinaire, Seth Godin, and Ted Talks, rejoice!Lets dust off that dense desk-top computer and give it a makeover of the future – in theform of killing off mass marketing strategy for good. Come with me, ride the totallycylindrical innovation wave into marketing and startup triumph.What’s not surprising is that Seth Godin devoted an entire Ted Talk to the ancientstrategy of mass marketing and, even more un-surprising that he suggest that moneyand power no longer influence leadership.So say goodbye to average… we’re only discussing innovative strategy on this hereblog.Were talking in thrice today: starting with good ole Henry Ford and his cool factory ideawhich changed the world of business as we know it:#1: Henry Ford created such an efficient factory that it enabled him to take a guy whowas making 50 cents a day and bump up his pay to $5 dollars.
Seth reminds us, “With that sort of advantage, you can churn out a lot of cars, you canmake a lot of change, you can get roads built, and you can change the fabric of anentire country.”Here’s the problem, if you’re only focused on cheaper labor and faster machines, you’refighting a losing battle and will, undoubtedly, run your company into the ground.#2: After the period in time where the biggest factory was no longer relevant, we thenstarted pushing mass marketing. We’d say, that there, it’s a good idear – I think weought to push that into the market…just keep pushin and pushin – push it out into theworld… If we have enough money and we tell enough people, then surely, we’ll sellenough.But as Seth points out in his Ted Talk, we can sell an entire industry on falsities. “Putbabies in your ads and if that doesn’t work, put doctors in your ads.” Credit
#3: And my personal favorite falsity: CreditBe the KING.In other words, they act like they are KING, and throw their ideas to the peons in theback. Because, well, they’re in charge and they’re going to tell people what to do next.The thoughtless idea is this: You’re above everyone and you’re going to push your ideaout to the masses.Seth argues: mass marketing = average ideas.He reasons, “that’s because mass marketing is for the masses – and requires lots ofmoney and ads.”“What we’ve done as spammers is tried to hypnotize people into buying our idea,hypnotize everyone into donating to our cause, hypnotize everyone into voting for ourcandidate.”
Likewise, Rex Harris created a nice writeup about new-waves of marketing and alsopointed out some great tips from marketing gurus, one of whom, acclaimed author MitchJoel. Harris wrote about how Mitch Joel helped drive home the notion that marketersneed to create direct relationships with their consumers through “having sex with data”and understanding the active vs passive audience of the medium you’re using to getyour message across.Harris pointed out, “For instance, Joel lauded the fact that “banner ads don’t workbecause it’s putting passive advertising into an active medium. One of the best ways tocreate a relationship with your audience, he went on to say, is by creating a product thatoffers true value to their lives.”Plain and simple: Mass marketing is not effective. CreditThe good news:There’s something that is extraordinarily effective: Tribes.A term Seth Godin coined.I call it social experiential and brand advocates – all synonymous.Godin, “What tribes (and brand advocates) are is a very simple concept: that goes back50,000 years. It’s about leading and connecting people and ideas. And it’s something
that people have wanted forever. Lots of people are used to having a spiritual tribe or achurch tribe, having a work tribe, having a community tribe… But now thanks to theInternet, thanks to the explosion of mass media, thanks to a lot of other things that arebubbling through our society and around the world…tribes are everywhere.”I believe, unrealistic expectations are at the heart of every mass marketing campaign…and it’s just plain ‘ole common sense when you think about it. The Internet hassuccessfully done the exact opposite of what we expected.For your consideration: The Internet has successfully reinvented the way we connectand communicate, but it hasn’t homogenized everyone as we expected. Rather, onlinemass communication has separated us all into niche groups - “silos of interests”as Sethwould call it. He explains, you’ve got white hats making food and white hats sailingboats. In other words, they both wear white hats (seemingly similar) but havecompletely diverse interests (extremely unique).So, skippy, if you want to find rebellious vintage lovers and connect with them, you can. Jealous Unicorn - Online Fashion Startup: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whats cool: People want to be connected to things they love through people.“The best part, it’s tribes, not money, not factories, that can change ourworld…that can change polotics, that can align large numbers of people. Notbecause you force them to do something against their will, but because theywanted to connect.”- GodinUpgrade your skills: Seth explains – you only need a thousand people– who careenough, and those thousand people will carry your company, product, brand, team, tothe next round.Another brilliant point: Whatever you create – whatever product you create – whatevermovement you create, it shouldn’t be for everyone.Your idea shouldn’t be for the masses.“It’s about finding true believers.”Godin then shifts his Ted Talk with a wicked little circle: Credit
1st: Tell a story2nd: Connect a Tribe3rd: Lead a Movement4th: Make a ChangeAround and around and around it goes.Godin’s questions for your company:1. Who exactly are you upsetting? (Because if you’re not upsetting anyone then you’renot changing the status quo).2. Who are you connecting? (Because for a lot of people, that’s what they’re in it for).3. Who are you leading? (Because focusing on that part of it, not the mechanics of whatyou’re building, but the who, and the leading part is where change comes).Case in point: Blake at Tom’s shoes had a very novel idea: What would happen if everytime I sold a pair of these shoes I gave the exact same pair to someone who didn’t evenown a pair of shoes?Badabing – a movement.
Credit <--- cool siteIt’s a story of a product that tells a story.Godin reiterates this theory in his blog post, Getting to scale: Direct Marketing vs MassMarketing Thinking, he again points out: “The key distinction is when you know its goingto work. The mass marketer doesnt know until the end. The direct marketer knows inthe beginning.”"But, everyone is doing it."Armed and dangerous with mud and a slingin’ fist, any ‘old Joe can scheme up anineffective marketing strategy that minimizes profit and maximizes waste. Hint: it shouldbe the opposite.Instead, we should choose the road less-traveled… create something fun, somethingengaging, something intoxicating - fill a gap, find unique crews, ruffle some feathers(peacock theory ;). And for the love of felines, allow the current to flow naturally. Go withyour target… let them do the choosing and the leading, but most of all connect withthem. And wham-bam, thank you ‘mam – you’ve got a hit.Note: A movement isn’t forced and it doesn’t swim against the current – it flows naturallyand isn’t prey to competitors – because these connected people – they’re LOYAL.Oftentimes for years, and if you’re super lucky, for a lifetime. That –is the only way youhave a long-lasting – sustainable– profitable company.When in doubt, think of Tom’s Shoes… and when you walk around with Tom shoes –someone will ask, where did you get those shoes, and then that person will tell the storyon Blake’s behalf…and suddenly – “it’s not one pair of shoes, or 10 pair of shoes, it’s10’s of thousands.”So smartmarketers and startupers, say goodbye to that slouchy old T-shirt anddestroyed knackers. Remember, if your head is in the clouds, it’s because you’remarketing fluff rating is through the roof. Them there numbers, they don’t evenmatter…here’s another reason why:For starters, Avinash Kaushik, the guru Ill reference next, He’s the savvy author of 2best selling books: Web Analytics 2.0, Web Analytics: An Hour A Day (100% of theproceeds from both books are donated to The Smile Train, Doctors Without Bordersand Ekal Vidyalaya). Also check out his work on Market Motive – for fresh onlinemarketing education.Rex Harris wrote up a nice run-down of some stellar marketing advice from some of thegreats and noted Kaushik’s marketing wisdom, ““Clicks, Impressions, Visits and Page
Views, Video Views, Followers/Fans/Likes are garbage. Those are not true measures ofinfluence.”It’s far less romantic than spending money at the start, but it’s the reliable, proven wayto get to scale if you care enough to do the work.” CreditSo mass marketing is, in theory, the light that never turns green. Well maybe, fora short burst of time, then it’s back to a red light.