The New Marketing

One would think that after all these years the spammers would get the message (pun intended). There is the quote attributed to Oscar Wilde that says “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” When it comes to digital marketing, there is something worse – being talked about negatively. Or, perhaps, not being talked about positively.

The purpose of marketing is not simply to get your name out. Marketing’s first job is to get positive recognition. Next, leverage that emotional connection to create a deeper engagement with a prospect or customer which manifests itself a continued interest in a product or service. Continuous engagement through all types of media, but especially social media, forms a virtuous cycle of positive interactions. This is the New Marketing. It’s not enough to get name recognition. It’s not enough to get positive recognition. To be successful in marketing, there needs to be a constant commitment to generating conversations with customers that connect with them emotionally.

This is not some ugly manipulation. It is the mass market equivalent of a great, old fashioned, retail experience. Some of us are old enough to remember record stores – or records for that matter. Before the onset of digital music downloads, if you wanted to listen to your favorite band you would go and buy records in a store. Record stores were something special. They were unlike anything else other than, perhaps, a local bookstore (remember those too?) because of the environment. Local record stores were owned by people who loved music and their customers.  If you walked in looking for one record, they could suggest ten more that you would love. These were honest suggestions from one music lover to another.

The walls were plastered with posters of bands, some new and some classic. You could smell the vinyl and cardboard. A true music lover could spend hours just perusing the racks, full of albums and singles with colorful and sometimes provocative covers. It was a total experience.

And, inside a great record store you would meet lots of other kindred spirits. These stores were crawling with other music aficionados with their own suggestions. Talking with the other denizens of the record store helped you to stretch a little and explore music wouldn’t have otherwise. These were places of community.

Each visit was different with new posters, new records, new friends, and new suggestions from the owner who always seemed to connect back to the individual tastes of customers. This was the old, personalized marketing that has gotten lost in an age of faceless big box stores and downloads.

Recapturing this emotional experience is what the New Marketing is all about. It is about personalized online experiences. It’s about the virtual record store knowing your tastes and handing you great, on-target suggestions. It’s about wanting to go back time and time again because something compels you to. This is an experience that has visual and auditory appeal that is tailored somehow to those things that you connect with best.

This is not dream. Modern analytics combined with new techniques in website experience and social networking features can create these interactions, this emotional appeal. Right now it’s a matter of technology, time, and desire.

Which is why we come full circle back to the spammers. Spammers ruin this system. They make us angry. Spammers are the pushy salesperson in a bad jacket who makes us flee the store. They want to be noticed and don’t care how. Since Tom’s Tech Take II opened three weeks ago, I’ve had dozens of spammers go to the trouble of registering and leaving spam in the activity stream. What they hope to accomplish is a mystery.

What they have inspired, however, is a new feature on Tom’s Tech Take II – The Wall of Shame.  The Wall of Shame will feature companies that clearly don’t get the New Marketing. They will serve as a reminder to the rest of the community that the old ways are going away and success comes from creating positive experiences for customers who then share those experiences with others.

Let these companies be a lesson of what not to do. Now go out and create that compelling experience that makes customers want to hang around your place.