What is one of the greatest signs that marketing permeates all aspects of our society? That everybody who comes to class already thinks they know what marketing is. Your neighbour knows what marketing is. Heck, even your mother! They all “speak marketing”.
Somehow its great that everybody speaks marketing. When I am going to parties (note to myself: I should do this more often), I always find people who want to talk marketing to me. They might be excited about the ongoing revolution in social media and mobile marketing, or they might despise me because marketing tries to greenwash our planet-wrecking consumption and production practices. Either way is fine. In the best case, I can convince a sociology grad student, who blames me for everything that is wrong in this world, that the marketing metanoia expands to sustainable consumption by fundamentally rethinking how humans relate to nature (my dissertation). At the very least, I am having an interesting conversation.
If I studied Mathematics or Engineering, how could I communicate with other party guests who don’t speak these esoteric languages?
But there’s a catch! The drawback of marketing being a lingua mundi is that everybody thinks that this superficial marketing streettalk has indeed any resemblance with what professional marketers do. No friends, the marketing talk you neighbour speaks has little to do with marketing strategy – unless your neighbour is a marketing prof… essional/essor, of course! My mum thinks that marketing is about TV commercials selling you stuff, and my students think that marketing is about raising awareness with facebook and twitter. No, no, no! Things are a little bit more complex.
You probably want to click on the image above to admire its beauty in all detail, but you get the gist of it already. Marketing streettalk has little to do with marketing strategy. Today it is raising awareness via facebook, yesterday it was branding via TV commercials, and before that it was just selling stuff.
Marketing strategy is more than that, and it requires us to engage with concepts and theories as much as with the latest trends and memes. It requires analytical thinking. It requires seeing arrows that are not included in the framework (from post-purchase to awareness, with a little social media* to be further explained elsewhere). It requires choosing a different framework if it fits better. And sometimes it even requires altering, reordering the framework or coming up with your own.
Unfortunately, even though I showed the above framework in almost every class over the last ten weeks, some students still conclude their analysis right after “raising awareness through a facebook page”. That money for enrolling in my course should have been spent elsewhere.
Many other get is, and the difference in their thinking is immense. They don’t sound like cheesy internet marketers any longer (the 21st century marketing embarrassment that replaced the “used car salesmen” stereotype of the late 20th century). I think they will even get a job. Marketing Strategists of 2013 – I salute you!
Resources for Marketing Strategy
In my constant crusade to rid this world from marketing streettalk, buzz word dropping and bullshitting, I occasionally share my thoughts on marketing here on the blog. Right now, there is my SMMMart! series going on about the hottest trends in Social Media & Mobile Marketing. In every post, I introduce one emerging communication delivery tool in the social and/or mobile realm, and then I give the floor to two students (those who “got it”) to present their assignment on this topic. Here is the first one on Shazam to integrate TV commercials with mobile marketing – enjoy!
You can also check out my Marketing in Motion content curation, in which I collect interesting articles on how marketing is rapidly changing. Here is a little teaser:
“…marketing is in motion, and it is moving fast! Relying on print and TV advertising to tell consumers what your brand is about, that is a thing of the past! Today, you have to give up control and allow consumers to creatively engage with your – pardon – their brand. You have to be a member of a community, engage consumers, and support influencers. Advertising is still there, but it exist alongside social media, mobile marketing, events and other offline and online activities.”
Are you on the same crusade? Comment here, or drop me a line on twitter at @joachimscholz.