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Nic Brisbourne

Great post. Hope you don't mind if I borrow it....

James Cherkoff

Hi Nic, no problem, borrow away...with credits of course ;-)

Scott Pearson

Nice post I agree entirely. What this means is that Marketing is tougher than it’s even been…

It’s estimated that an average person is subjected to 3000 different marketing messages every day.

Today, more and more people (target customers) tune out these messages, making it ever more difficult to get through to them and this applies regardless of whether it’s advertising; direct mail…

Even if your message does get through, then it’s highly likely to be perceived as very much the same as your competitors – getting your differentiators through is really really hard!

In the small percentage of cases where your message does get through and is understood to be somewhat different or even compelling your targets are less likely to believe you than ever before, they’re sceptical of what you say and inclined not to believe you because “you would say that wouldn’t you – you’re trying to sell me something”.

People are better networked and connected than ever before, they seek advice and guidance from a broad set of people they trust and respect, some they know personally others they don’t.

So, what’s the future… To get a high ROI from Marketing even if you have great product you’ll need to research who’s influencing your marketplace and then work at increasingly their level of advocacy towards you. Easier said than done!

James Cherkoff

Thanks Scott and well said. Marketing isn't about to disappear but it's going to be a very different beast in a few years time so best to start experimenting now!

Scott Pearson

James, a couple of colleagues of mine have a book that’s being published in the next couple of weeks. You might find this provides an interesting perspective. http://www.influencermarketingbook.com/ there’s an active blog on this too - http://www.influencer50.com/infuse/infuse.htm

Cheers, Scott.

James Cherkoff

Thanks Scott, I'll take a look.

Harry Bishop

Hi James - good post, and great example, but I have to say I see a different lesson from this story.

To me the lesson is that today you have to actually live your brand, and keep your promises. You can't hide behind broadcast media, anybody can get TRUE feedback on your firm, your product, your services, and your people.

Branding is still very important, it can set the perception in people's minds that "XXX is the company/product that does YYY". From iPods to PotteryBarn to Ikea to Porsche, brands do matter. In fact with the huge increase in available options we have today, you can argue brands matter more than ever, to make you stand out from the crowd. BUT, they have to be real. And social feedback can be a big part of helping you create a brand, rather than it being internally generated as in the past - just like pre-mass media days.

From your story, Moben tried to brand themselves as something they really were not - today that doesn't work very well!

Thanks for the continued good posts, I enjoy reading them.

Harry Bishop

Harry Bishop

I should also mention a recent post I read on cnet from Adam Richardson that I think relates well to this topic, and shows by example how branding has reverted to how it used to work pre-broadcast.

Harry Bishop

Excerpt from http://www.richardsona.com/main/2007/11/6/the-value-of-old-fashioned-ways-in-a-web-20-world.html

Today we are in the throes of a slow return to a world of more personal connection between companies and their customers. Web 2.0 is allowing it, and for some people perhaps it is a new concept, but in fact it dates back to the beginning of commerce, to individual barter or the local market and the personal connection between those selling or buying the goods. For a long time we have engineered and marketed and grown our way out of this type of connection, and it is still quite startling when you see it happen in a genuine way. As the Cluetrain Manifesto presciently argued, “markets are conversations.” Perhaps an “old fashioned” approach to business might be better suited to the future than a more contemporary one...

James Cherkoff

Thanks Harry, I agree with most of what you say. However, as the risk of sounding pedantic I think there is a difference between the idea of brands and branding. The latter is the practice of creating cathedral like brands through vast planning exercises. But the reality is that these days brands' success is dependent on the views of the bazaar. And I'll take a look at Adam's post, thanks for that.

Scott Pearson

Interesting discussion. I believe that Brand is a consequence of success not a prerequisite for it. Google is successful, so its brand becomes trusted. Brand is a measure of trust and expectation, not awareness!

I think there’s far too much emphasis on brand, in B2B in particular it should be a consequence of good sales and marketing and not the objective – it’s an outcome and focusing on it will not give any reasonable ROI.

Cheers, Scott.

James Cherkoff

I think that's very well put Scott...brands are rewards for good products and service. A sort of brand whuffie in fact ;-)


Pete Crown

Well, I'd say marketing is getting tougher and tougher each time. And those looking at it in five years will say how easy it had been five years ago. Or those in 50 years will certainly say how easy it was 50 years ago.

I think the key point is to stay up-to-date with what's going on. And to brand and market yourself pretty well (as always, huh?). What James D. Brausch teaches in this regard is also very helpful, I figured.

James Cherkoff

Thanks Pete, that's a really nice view, nothing new under the sun, right?

John Dodds

Marketing isn't any harder than it used to be - it's just that people forgot that it centres upon product development and meeting customer needs and instead got obsessed with pretty words like branding which is all too often skin-deep rather than a reflection of the DNA of a business. No marketing isn't harder, but getting away with sub-standard behaviour very definitely is.

James Cherkoff

Thanks John, I often refer back to the simplicity of the 4Ps. Marketing has done itself no favours by focusing on Promotion, Promotion, Promotion.

John Dodds

I completely agree and that lies at the heart of my blogging.

ken mccormick

Make it simple and be honest about it.

James Cherkoff

Thanks Ken, a nice way to finish off this discussion. Unless, anyone else has some thoughts they'd like to share?

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