When Bad Times Make Good Marketers


Today I noticed an article in the Wall Street Journal title, "When Bad Times Make Good Movies" and thought that is exactly what is occurring today in the marketing community. Bad times are making us better marketers.

Tool box pink It's back to marketing basics but with new strategies in our tool box that may sound strange like wiki and blog and twitter. In addition we are told that what was once for family fun like videos and photos can be leveraged to give your brand a competitive advantage. I ask you girlfriend, has the world gone mad?

Perhaps. But then again, perhaps not. If bad times are making us good marketers .. the question that begs to be asked is was there something during the good times that made us bad marketers? So what is marketing anyway? Many years ago I heard someone ask that question to Philip Kotler. His response put so simply and elegantly -

Marketing is meeting the needs of your customers at a profit. Philip Kotler

When I listen to marketers, especially those in the c-suite, talk about their concerns regarding consumer generated media and rationalize why social media is inappropriate for their organization, I can't help but think of that quote from Philip Kotler and wonder .. how can you meet the needs of your customers if you don't know what they are?

Traditional research provides answers to many of your questions but why would you discount the answers you might hear to the questions you have not asked? Did we become complacent and loose touch with our customers and is that the reason we are now fearful to hear their unfiltered conversations? 

Yes, the world is changing. Through the funny sounding tactics like wikis, blogs, twitter and social networks our customers are talking to us. All the time. What is as amazing is people in those companies (not the brand or the company but people) are taking brave steps to talk with their customers. Sure it can be messy. It certainly can be scary. It takes courage to develop trusted relationships .. especially in public. But that was how business began and from my perspective it is certainly nice to see people once again building corner grocery store relationships.

My friends at the American Marketing Association call this the New Marketsphere.

"Whether you like it or not, we are all part of it. It's a borderless planet of seismic changes occurring at warp speed, throwing a dizzying array of challenges at marketers." Mplantet website

To help us maneuver in this mad mad mad marketing world they have created Mplanet the marketing conference that will help us make sense of it all. The conference is build around four themes. I think I just addressed #2 Connecting with empowered consumers. 

1. Brand Building in a digital world
2. Connecting with empowered consumers
3. Marketing mix in a fragmented world
4. Global marketing on a borderless planet

I'm honored to be speaking at the Digital Marketing Lab pre-conference along with: Stephanie Diamond, Digital Media Works, Julie Fleischer, DIGITAS, Brian Johnson, Microsoft, Russell Buckley, Mobile Marketing Association, Jim Novo, The Drilling Down Project, Jim Sterne, Web Analytics Association and  Greg Verdino, crayon.

C.B. Whittemore, Flooring the Consumer, had a terrific recap of posts from around the blogosphere about the conference themes.

What-When-Where- Diva Marketing Discount Details

AMA Mplanet Conference. /January 26-28, 09. /Orlando, FL. As a speaker AMA has extended a courtesy discount to me to pass along to my closest friends and relatives you among them. shh.. don't tell anyone .. $995 from $1,995 - non member // $1,495 - member; DM me for details or drop a comment.

Starting where we began .. at the movies .. In Joe Morganstein's WSJ article film director Andrew Stanton told him,  "In times like these you really understand the benefit of moviegoing, of sitting in a large dark room with strangers and feeling the collective reaction to the truths of life presented to you via humor, observation and the thrill of action. Movie going is not a panacea, but it's a hell of a multivitamin. Whatever the movies do should be geared toward bringing people together. Don't let them stew in their private darkness."

Put into marketing terms - Marketing can no longer simply sproutMovies meaningless messages that people ignore. Marketing must bring customers together with products and services that meet their needs at a proft. Don't let your marketing strategies die in your private darkness of the fears because you refused to acknowledge this new wonderful mad mad mad marketing world! 


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Toby, what a brilliant way to focus attention on the opportunities that face us as marketers! I'll be interested to hear/read what comes out of Mplanet and your session. It should definitely be thought-provoking. Thanks, too, for the mention.

Posted by: C.B. Whittemore on Jan 9, 2009 9:10:11 AM

Quick change on the MPlant URL: mplanet2009.com. Good stuff; thanks.

Posted by: Joseph Rizzo on Jan 13, 2009 7:50:57 AM

services that meet their needs at a proft.

Posted by: puma shoes on May 19, 2009 10:14:37 PM

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