Thursday, June 26, 2008

The New Five Elements of Marketing

Seth Godin is probably the person that influenced the most marketing the past few years, especially with his book "permission marketing", which settled a new approach for customer relationship management problematics. I read the book and if you are a professional marketer or aiming to be, you should consider to do so.

In one of his new blog post, Seth Godin exposes the new five elements of marketing. Indeed, marketing was mainly sum up by three P's, which defined the different marketing activities:
  • Product
  • Price
  • Place (distribution)
  • Promotion (communication)
Seth Godin proposes 5 new elements to define a marketing strategy:
  • DATA: is observational. What do people actually do? Wal-Mart uses data to decide if an end cap is working. Google Adwords advertisers use data to decide which copy delivers clicks and sales. The library can use data to decide which books to buy (and not to buy). Paco Underhill uses data to turbo charge retail. Data is powerful, overlooked and sometimes mistaken for boring. You don't have to understand the why, you merely need to know the what.
  • STORIES: define everything you say and do. The product has a myth, the service has a legend. Marketing applies to every person, every job, every service and every organization. That's because all we can work with as humans is stories. I want to argue that data and stories are the two key building blocks of marketing--the other three are built on these two.
  • PRODUCTS (and services): are physical manifestations of the story. If your story is that you are cutting edge and faster/newer/better, then your products better be. Average products for average people is a common story, but not one that spreads. When in doubt, re-imagine the product. Push it to be the story, to live the story, to create a myth.
  • INTERACTIONS: are all the tactics the marketer uses to actually touch the prospect or customer. Interactions range from spam to billboards, from the way you answer the phone to the approach you take to an overdue bill. Interactions are the hero of marketing, because there are so many and most of them are cheap. Unfortunately, all lazy marketers can do is buy ads or spam people. Which creates an interaction that belies your story, right?
  • CONNECTION: is the highest level of enlightenment, the end goal. Connection between you and the customer, surely, but mostly connection between customers. Great marketers create bands of brothers, tribes of people who wish each other well and want to belong. Get the first four steps right and you may get a shot at this one.
A good marketer has to balance its work around these 5 poles. I think this new definition of marketing elements is pretty accurate. Marketing is a science constantly evolving, and therefore it is important to redefine the marketing tasks.

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