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.”

Is Chocolate a Good Reward?

chocolate1For years chocolate has been used as a reward, a lure, an incentive! So today when I visited a Nursing and Health Expo in Adelaide I should not have be surprised to find chocolates and lollies on almost every stand and in very large quantities.

And it is almost Easter.

But given my focus is on Marketing within the Wellness, Nutrition, Health area I expected better.

With Obesity and Diabetes in epidemic proportions there surely are better ways to convince young people who want a career in Nursing that you are the one to help … as you have the best supply of Sugar in the industry.

Even if thats what the attendees expect there is clearly a great marketing opportunity here that was missed by all … apart from one … who offered chocolates and a chance to win a personal training session.

Given stats that show rates of ill health, rates of smoking etc within nursing are above the norms there is a clear opportunity to show that as a recruiter or an employer that you care by not supply these incentives …  and making sure the attendees know it!!

Booming Boomers

Some new research in Australia by Charlie Nelson of Foreseechange further highlights the powerful market that Boomers and in particular mature women make up. It also shows that current approaches to reaching them need to change.

While the increase in the under 50s between 2001 and 2011 will be a mere 2%… in the over 50s it will be 32%. And the 55 – 64 year olds now account for 17.6% of discretionary – spending up from 13% in the 1990s. This group are also big users of the Internet.

They are no longer tech averse as they are now embracing technology being generally open an adaptable to new ideas. Many now online frequently… confidently booking travel, researching and buying products and services.

Another study by Evergreen and Perspective Research highlights the importance of marketing to women in an appropriate way. With women proving to be the financial powerhouse of the boomer brigade marketers need to get the message and the medium right .. as most women 50 plus are actively discouraged by the way they are portrayed now in advertising (no wonder advertising doesn’t work!!).

So we need to use the Net and make sure the Content is right and appropriate if we want to reach a very powerful market …rather than stick to the conventional thinking .. that says the 50 pluses dont use technology .. and women of a certain age should be portrayed as past it.

But sadly many fail to realise —- The Times They Are a’ Changing.

And if that’s not enough … I read in today’s Australian.

People in Aust with Broadband now spend more time on the Net than watching TV – 22 hrs vs. 14 hrs!! With half of those surveyed being 30 – 49 years old.. Many watching video online … but only if its free… very few prepared to pay a $5 a month subscription fee to watch.

So what have I learned today …. I am on the right track… hope you are too.