Marketing in complete turmoil

marketing mag_coverRecently in Marketing Magazine publshed a special issue “Brave New World,” aimed at helping marketers navigate the rapidly changing digital landscape. There are some insightful features, profiles and case studies offering strategies and solutions to help marketers thrive in a challenging new age by capitalizing on the endless opportunities it presents.

The article “Talkin about a revolution”  features a round-table discussion with 4 of my favorite new marketing gurus. They focus on the major shift in the digital age and why marketers must heed the old adage “Adapt or Die”

Seth Godin who has authored 10 best selling marketing books

Charlene Li who co-authored Groundswell and is a former VP at Forrester Research

Shelly Palmer who hosts Media Bytes a daily news show about technology, media and entertainment

David Weinberger who co-authored The Cluetrain Manifesto and other definitive books on “new marketing”.

The best way to sum up what they have to say is in the form of some very powerful quotes


“Some of the most important changes are the ones we already take for granted . Retail sites now routinely put up spaces for uncensored, unfiltered reviews by customers.

A huge shift in how retailers think about their markets.  Networked markets are more trustworthy sources of information about companies than the companies themselves is a transformative idea that we now take for granted.

One of the big principles that has changes is the one to one; its actually many to many.

The changes are so profound that some companies are just never going to be able to make the change.”


“This is causing a lot of turmoil and pain because the way most marketers traditionally do marketing isn’t working anymore.”

“I admire what Proctor and Gamble has done. This is one company that is absolutely focused on it, primarily because they know the power of a company like Wallmart, being the last person in the chain. So they want to have a direct relationship with their customers. They see that to sustain that brand they cant rely on traditional media, they cant rely on relationships with people they sell through.”

“The most important thing is to get your hands dirty and actually experience it. It’s not enough to look over your teenagers shoulder to experience the new digital experience that’s out there. You have to live it, you have to make it personal, so you can actually sit in the shoes of your customers because they’re the ones engaging in this new medium. They want to engage with you as a marketer. And how you can begin a dialogue with them in this space if you don’t know how to talk to them.”


“Most organisations insist the Internet must bend to their will instead of the other way round.”

Referring to the changes that he believes companies like Porctor and Gamble must make   “The need to say “How do we use our chemists, our distribution, our insight, and our emotional connections to build new stuff., new processes, new distribution models and new relationships that make money from what’s happening.” as opposed to “How do we play defence?”


“We’re in the middle of a transition that is unprecedented in our history. We’re leaving the industrial age and we’re fully racing into the information age and there’s not a whole hell of a lot  anyone can do about it right now.”

“You’re going to see 150 TV stations change hands in the next 90 days.”  “This is unprecedented.”

“no  corporate that’s publicly traded  gets rewarded gets rewarded for innovation.”

“Twitter is a great example of creating value in the new world without any way to translate that value into wealth. So the Internet allows you to create value quickly, but direct translation into wealth is astoundingly elusive to most people.”

Women 50+ Wired and Well Connected

vibrant women

I recently discovered a great site – – for Women 50 plus and found some great (and surprising) info there for marketers, which is all detailed in the WhitePaper that they have produced.

Their survey which was based on 1,000 well educated woman with household earnings of $75,000 plus reveals much about the fastest growing demographic on Facebook.

Firstly they are very well connected and their connections are growing as they age. In the past this was the reverse . As women aged and left the workplace their external to family relationships shrank quickly.

Secondly they depend heavily on the opinions of “women like them” … even if they don’t know them. 88% declaring that referrals from others including online testimonials from strangers as one of the top 3 factors influencing buying decisions. While 60% consider advertising to be influential and less than 50% take notice of television ads.

More than 70% said they happily rely on advice from those outside their personal network if they have knowledge of the product or service they are considering.

And finally they seek new connections from their existing network as their needs and interests change with age. Almost unanimously they said the factors influencing their motivation to purchase changed dramatically as they entered late 40s and early 50s.

So rather than the traditional assumptions re changes relating to retirement and slow down, the changing approaches have more to do with financial stability, empty nesting, losing parent/spouse, new family roles (eg. grandparent, caregiver), physical changes and social changes (travel, volunteering, environmental awareness etc).

It is obvious that marketers who fail to recognise these dramatic changes that are going on will miss the boat! They will fail to win the desired business unless they find new ways to connect with these well-connected women. Social Networks and Social Media are facilitating these connections and now its up to the marketers to move away from the traditional means of influence and embrace the new ways.

Perhaps the Grumpy Old Managers Guide will help them find their way.

Will the right recruits find you?

linkedin2Recently Tara Cain a former Journalist now working as a Communications Specialist at Reckitt Benckiser posted an interesting question on LinkedIn.

The consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser wants graduates to be aware of the exciting career opportunities within the company.
They have utilised Facebook, Linked In and run an employee blog – but can Twitter help with an awareness-raising initiative too?
Should it be used for those purposes and will the right people be listening?

Firstly it was great to see that big companies are using the tools I have been talking to companies in the Recruiting industry about for some time and secondly the question prompter over twenty very useful responses. Once again re-enforcing the power of LinkedIn with answers like this one fromJames Ainsworth PR Support at BHP Information Solutions

Twitter is ideal for brands, in terms of monitoring brands and engaging with the target audience. It is easy to use Twitter tools to fine tune who you follow and who follows you and the word of mouth effect will work in your favour too if you use it correctly. The link below is an article explaining just why businesses should be on Twitter. It is a world of opportunity, not waiting to happen, but happening now….…

and a list of companies who are using Twitter to recruit staff fromMike Ellsworth IT Program Director | LinkedIn Trainer | Facebook Trainer | Twitter Trainer | Social Media Consulting

AOL American Express Accenture  ACULIS, Inc.  ADP  Allstate Insurance  APCO Worldwide Apple  Assurant Solutions  AT&T
Burger King City of Kingston Clearspring Compuware comScore Davita, Inc. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ecolab EDS EMC
Ernst and Young Expedia Follett Software Co. Forrester Research, Inc. Fullhouse Interactive Hallmark HCA Hershey
Hewitt Hitachi Consulting HomEq Servicing Hyatt Hotels & Resorts Intel Intercontinental Hotel Group J.B. Hunt
Kaplan Test Prep Services Keller Williams Realty Kissito Post-Acute Care KPMG Kroger LexisNexis Mattel McCormick & Schmick
McGladry Microsoft MTV Games MTV Networks New York Times nGenera PEAK6 Investments Raytheon Razorfish
Sodexo Southwest Airlines Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center Starbucks The Ritz-Carlton Thomson Reuters Time Warner
Twitter (of course!) United Parcel Service University of Pittsburgh Med Center UPMC US Dept. of State Verizon Warner Bros
Whistler Blackstone Zappos

Others have pointed out the demographics of Twitter, which are pretty inclusive, so pretty much any company can benefit from recruiting via Twitter.

So the the consensus answer is, yes. Brands should be on Twitter for lots of reasons, and recruiting is a big one and my consensus as always ———what a great source of free consulting, market research, mentoring etc LinkedIn can be if used to the max.