Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Have a story to tell...?

Today I participated in a webcast sponsored by GoToMeeting.com and moderated by BNET's James Hilliard, featuring one of my all-time favorite marketing gurus, Seth Godin. The title of the presentation was "The Future of Marketing: Being Remarkable and the Meatball Sundae," and it drew from Seth's book entitled Meatball Sundae, which builds a case on how marketing activities need to match the products they are supporting. In his opening comments today, Seth described the changing marketplace much as another brilliant industry pundit, Jack Myers, did in his article published today under the title of "Evangelism, Word-of-Mouth and Passion is the Next Evolution of Advertising Research." Jack began his piece with these words: "A couple weeks ago, I introduced to readers the idea that there is an irreversible progression of advertising messaging away from the 100-year tradition of mass reach and building awareness and toward an emphasis on achieving and maintaining consumer trust and passion." Seth made the same point today, saying that this new marketplace exists due to power shifting away from marketers and into the hands of consumers, and telling us that for businesses and professionals seeking to succeed, we must leverage this fundamental shift in our operations, strategies and tactics. Below, I am presenting some of the best ideas I've bookmarked from these venerable gentleman and other key sources for getting meaningful attention and building success in the consumer-driven marketplace.

1. Source: Seth Godin. Ensure that marketing is aligned with all facets of your company's operations and management.

2. Source: Seth Godin. Package and tell your story, consistently and authentically, by focusing-in on delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to your target audience (see Permission Marketing).

3. Source: HP's SVP and CMO Mike Mendenhall, via Karl Greenberg of MediaPost's MarketingDaily. Monitor blogs and news sites constantly, and pursue opportunities to "build your own forums to engage customers and critics who are one and the same."

4. Source: Jack Myers. Bear in mind: "The next generation of communications will focus on passion -- defined by word-of-mouth, blogs, evangelism, conversational marketing, and other forms of advocacy."

5. Source: Esther Dyson, founder of EDventure, via eMarketer. Experiment and try new things where you see opportunities and feel you can succeed -- and be prepared to quickly, honestly correct any missteps as you go.