By Michael D’Antonio
Conventional wisdom and historical precedent tell us that the endgame of marketing is to change behavior – the art of persuasion – the domain of convincing, cajoling, seducing and litigating a case before a jury of our peers (that is, consumers).
This has led to an entire industry based on a customer journey of flows and funnels -- beautifully rendered Keynote presentations that play much better to marketing departments on GoToMeeting, than they do to actual consumers at Cosco.
The result is that ROI, efficacy and attribution remain as much a mystery today as they have ever been.
As marketers we have to ask the simple question – is it because we are doing it wrong -- or is It because we are doing the wrong thing?
Imagine, just for a minute, if marketers didn’t try to convince, cajole or seduce. Imagine if the art of persuasion became the art of solution. Imagine if we spent less time trying to change consumer behavior, and more time adding value based on existing consumer behavior.
It would require spending significantly more time and energy understanding a consumer’s real time need, then serving up a viable solution for that need. It would require respecting our audience enough to believe that they know what they want, and that it is our job to provide the best remedy for their need state.
If we did this, marketing would undoubtedly become much more of a service, based on the specific needs and wants of the consumer in a specific moment. It would become a much truer, cleaner economic transaction based on marginal utility. Less noise. Less energy aimed at deception and pure persuasion. And more energy put into solutions.
It would be a harsher model – more Hunger Games than American Idol. Brands would come and go quicker. The weak would be killed. The strong would survive. It would look a lot like… well the kind of open competition capitalism originally aspired to advance.
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