New Trend, Same Revolution

It’s funny how we as community feel compelled to recreate the same trend over and over again as a new revolution. Consider how the same audience centric principles become repackaged over and over again during the past eight years.

We have moved from Web 2.0 to social media to social business to content marketing to the trend of the immediate future, context marketing (user experience).

In all of these cases, while the technology evolves, the general revolution is the same: Customers have control of their media and experience. Brands need to listen and serve them conversations, er content, er, customized web pages, er, awesome experiences that are relevant to them.

With each year, evolving technology creates evolutions. Customers gain more content and media options and are even less likely to invest time in brands, and data has allowed marketers to become more targeted and personal in their communications.

Each technological innovation gives marketers a chance to develop relationships. But most marketers look at ways to interfere with the customer experience by inserting messages via content, social network updates, “native” advertising, highly segmented email lists, etc. And so most brands lose that magical opportunity to strengthen their brand with emerging media, and instead drive customers further into the niche.

This is the ebb and flow of the same revolution, the revolution of the people formerly known as the audience.

While we get more and more specific with our brand messaging, people do not need to listen to us. And they frequently don’t/

I feel like the marketing sector has to reposition these evolutions as the new marketing revolution because we are so bad about becoming customer-centric. In essence, brands are extremely self centric. That makes sense because they are made up of people. So when a new trend happens, marketers pretend to learn it, then abuse the media technology to spam people with messages. The trend loses its sheen because it’s not working, creating the need for a new trend/revolution.

The customer revolution is caused by people in control of their own media choices, and choosing unique niche experiences via the Internet. People have more media power than brands now.

Brands have more technological power, but because of their own inherent human nature, they are unable to capitalize on the new trend.

Relationships are hard. Especially when the power dynamic changes.

What do you think of the latest marketing trends?

This post ran originally on the Vocus blog. Featured image by Lawrence Whitmore. I am on vacation until September 30th and will not be responding to comments. The floor is yours!

3 Replies to “New Trend, Same Revolution”

  1. I think we need to do away with all the jargon and get back to the primary point – businesses want to know how to get people to buy their stuff. The Only part of the equation that keeps changing is the detail of how to get that to happen.

    The consumers have the power now. Yield to that power.

    You can resist the change and stagnate and die, or you can embrace the change and flourish. We’re not talking about rocket science here – we’re making it too complicated and abandoning basic marketing principles in favor of a failed dream that technology will do it for us if we hang in long enough. #fail!

  2. Beautifully said. I have a post coming up with a similar sentiment (not surprising). What you have written here is true and has profound implications for how we approach marketing from here on out.

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