I think we can all agree that businesses should not try to sell things that people do not really want.
Unfortunately that’s how people traditionally use marketing; to identify what people will be most susceptible to buying and then how they can be persuaded to buy it.
This marketing model is not only outdated, it’s dangerous.
Marketing Is Not Really Connecting
The danger comes from trying to sell at the expense of the person. Isn’t that why people don’t trust marketing? The customer automatically assumes that the business doesn’t have their best interests at heart.
I envision a system that affords businesses the opportunity to connect with their clients in such a way that they tell the business their story. Then it’s up to the business to help them live the story that they really want to live.
marketing = persuading people to buy things they don’t need
connecting = helping people’s current lives be amazing
Two Quick Examples
Proctor and Gamble makes Tide. Their gargantuan marketing machine will sell you and market to you using thousands of focus groups to refine a message designed to get you to buy Tide. Why? Because they want to make your life better? Not really. They simply want to sell more Tide.
The customers are no longer dealt with as people, they are a line item, a number. The customer becomes a way to perpetuate the business.
Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent on the other hand takes a different approach. They are living a better story and they strive to help others live that story too. The business connects with their customers through that story.
If you are an extremely eco-conscious individual, you will probably find the Seventh Generation narrative more appealing than P&G’s. Seventh Generation has found your story and invites you to live an even better version of that (your) story.
Does Marketing Have A Future?
Marketing is being replaced by connecting with people to share mutual stories. Not pushing agendas on others, not coercing them to take certain actions, not tricking them to act against their best interests. That’s a dying model.
Marketing as it’s been practiced has no place in the future of business.
In our increasingly connected society, which do you think stands a better chance of success: Connecting to share in stories or tricking people to make purchases?
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