People love to buy...but hate to be sold. How true is this statement? Seriously, in your mind..are you a consumer; do you love to buy? Even though I might be a cheap SOB at times, I sure love to buy. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to walk up, pick something off the shelf and cart it home, giddy with joy. Or better yet, hit my handy-dandy one click button on Amazon and see it magically appear by drone (not yet… but soon).
Now let's think about how I hate to be sold. Every time I go into a retail store, I immediately put my head down and say "I'm just browsing." I do a quick scan around the place either grab something or head for the hills fast. I simply hate being sold...this is strange because I actually consider myself a professional salesman. Weird, huh?
This has evolved even further in the digital age. We consume massive amounts of information on a daily basis. We check our phones 150 times a day and are looking at many apps when we do. That's billions and billions of impressions a day marketers could be making on us. So what the heck are we buying..do brands even have a shot anymore at grabbing our attention? They've almost got to be pulling a Mr. Miyagi and catch us like he did with chopsticks and the fly. We move in and out of purchase consciousness and no one can catch us. We are increasingly hip to all that retargeting jazz and have turned on ad blockers. What's a marketer to do?
If we are going to be marketed to, let’s implore marketers to do it in Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs style.* We buy..they don't sell. Why is that? First and foremost, an emphasis on customer experience resets the game. As brand marketers, we need to be the ones talking to operations, e-commerce, purchasing etc. Customer experience crosses silos. Every single moment is a marketing moment. Jobs was manically insane about design:included in the guts of his products were perfectly crafted squares and perpendicular chips. Every moment of a product is a marketing moment. So if the product sucks...boom right there it goes out on social media. If you have the next Pokemon Go with zero marketing dollars, word of mouth spreads like wildfire. Seriously, the news outlets that covered Pokemon Go only reported it after the fact that the game became so popular. So if I were to peer completely into the future with my crystal ball, and tell you absolutely everything essential in planning what’s next: put a marketer at every single stage of the product life cycle. When it's on the whiteboard, when it's in the lab, when it’s but a wee twinkle in your eye. It will pay dividends.
Okay, so that's great, but what if you’ve already got a product out there? What's the big martech game changing technology that will drop buckets of money from the sky? Well that's easy. Invent brain scanner technology to predict and influence us all. If you can't do that, then the future of martech is to market through people not to people. Read it again and let it sink in. Whether you want to call it influencer marketing, advocate, employee or whatever the plates have shifted to, you need people to do marketing for you.
The simple fact is that we all are operating in a different world and although marketing technology hasn't completely come of age yet, we desperately need it to. I see my friends enjoying some new taco joint, I then eventually go to Google and look at reviews, then I see Yelp’s, and then I wait a day and book through OpenTable. So if I was a restaurant marketer, who do I give credit to...likely the last click which was OpenTable. This is stupid, they were just the booking engine. so Google? Maybe, but they didn't influence my path there. Everyone needs to get a piece of the action, so the actual retailer knows how to direct their strategy. We need tech that contextually understands true points of origination to purchase and connects the entire ecosystem of dots. The next evolution is in being the connector..,not the creator.
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