When it comes to analyzing today's marketing effectiveness, it's interesting to look at what's evolving in our thinking about what works and how to go about doing it. For some reason, we have this need to define what we do, to measure it, argue about differing styles and descriptions. So, I thought, what the heck, I'll play.
Over on the 1 to 1 Weekly, the article, Is It The Death of Demographics?, caught my eye. Demographics as the the statistical categorization of a macro group is no longer as important as "knowing" the individual. Linda Vytlacil, vice president of Decision Sciences for Carlson Marketing, "sees even more direct interaction between customer and company providing significant insight."
I couldn't agree more. The only way to learn how to connect with an individual is to form a relationship with them that gives you insight to what they value. Doing this without interactions is next to impossible. No longer is grouping people by age, income, location, occupation, etc. going to get you close enough to serve them well. Not to mention that your lack of understanding is, well, obvious.
But, it's not just about selling or serving, it's about establishing an ongoing dialog that builds a relationship valuable to both sides. Which has to be about more than money, although that's the foundation and will always play a major role. It has to. But, not at the expense of meeting the needs of the "personal" relationship. Or you will lose.
Tom Asacker's post, Jim Autry on metaphors, says, "To Brandweek, and other mainstream media, marketing = communication. Don't be seduced by this metaphor." He says some other interesting things about the perishable nature of brands, but I'd like to propose that marketing = interactions. Behavioral marketing is driving by them, personas are created by them, relationships depend on them. I could go on, but if you think about it, every touch point with a customer or prospect should produce an interaction. If you're not learning from these, well, that's a subject for a different post.
Finally, David Armano's post, Custo-consum-user-people, is about the labels we use: user, customer, audience, participant, community, consumer, person. And I propose, Debbie, Linda, Scott, John and Marvin. I think we need to embrace the "ungroup" school of thought for a bit. Once you've done that for a while, you may begin to see patterns between Debbie and Marvin that allow you to construct a whole new outlook, but I think it has to be based on individual preferences, likes, aversions, meanings, etc.
So, that was a mouthful for a Monday morning! Any thoughts?