If you care about the future of your company do not skip this column!
I just finished a great new book by Geoffrey Colon called Disruptive Marketing and I have to tell you reading this book will turn your world upside down. If you know anything about marketing or like me are a truly passionate advocate of the subject it will blow your mind; or if you are someone who does not know or care about marketing or does not understand what marketing is or why we do it then this book will make your mind explode because this is so different than the marketing that you think you know you will not be able to grasp anything this guy is saying!
The sub-title of the book is, “What growth hackers, data punks, and other hybrid thinkers can teach us about navigating the new normal.” Are you scared yet? You should be.
The real statement here is, “the new normal” because this is what the book is about. We have all been talking and wondering about social media, what it is, what it does and why should we bother with it? And now finally in this book all of these questions are answered; yes finally here is a writer who explains why social media is important and how it applies to the “new normal” of marketing.
First of all be prepared to leave your comfort zone and never go near it again…if you want to be successful that is, because there is no more status quo.
In the book we learn how we are no longer going to be selling to customers but engaging them; we will no longer branding our own companies but instead the companies we work with, our customers are going to be branding our companies through social media where they will talk about what it is like to use our products and experience our services, in short what it is like to work with our companies.
Look, it all boils down to one thing, our actual products and services will actually define our company. Instead of reading our ads about what our company’s products are like, people who have used the products already will talk about them on social media thus influencing others to use our products as well.
As one reviewer said, Disruptive Marketing isn’t so much a business book as a marketing manifesto….that marketing isn’t a set of core principles or effective practices…it is a way of thinking.
Suspend current reality for a moment and then think of a world without an advertising, where there are no ads and no commercials so that they only way you get to know a product is to try it and the only way to find out about a product is from those who were the first to try it. This is the world we are entering. This ladies and gentlemen is a world run through social media, this is a world where if you are not delivering a great product you will be able to run but you will not be able to hide…a world where you’d better deliver a great customer experience or you will die.
As Colon says in the book, “In the future the seeds of branding and marketing efforts will be rooted in what customers are talking about…Customer responses and feelings toward the brand will dictate future product development or enhancement. If the customers’ are happy they’ll happily wear the marketer’s hat and do what is needed to bring the brand to others in their interests or social graphs.”
See what I mean? It’s a bit scary isn’t it? What you actually do, what you actually sell and how it serves your customers will in the end determine your success in this new “put up or shut up world”. People who don’t listen to customers will fail, those who refuse to take their customers’ advice, will die.
So once again it all boils down to what the customer thinks about you. So I say once again what we have been preaching for years, but before those companies did not deliver great products could hide; they could get away with delivering poor quality products to some of their customers some of the time and still continue to stay in business because there was no fast and easy way for customers to talk to one another and compare notes.
Now if someone has a bad experience on Delta Airlines he can tweet or blog about it in the right social media channels, then those who had also had a bad experience on Delta can join in and add fuel to the fire and soon there is a bonfire that Delta can no longer ignore but have to address. And get this, the longer they take to address the issue the bigger the bonfire gets to the point where it will actually start hurting their sales and yes their all-important bottom line.
Scary isn’t it? Maybe it is but maybe just maybe it is the way business and yes life should be. If you build good stuff that people love, they will love it enough to tell people about it…if you don’t well you should have the picture by now…It’s only common sense.