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Dec 04

Thinking Different. In Support of the Countertactic.

A colleague recently told me that she does her grocery shopping  on Friday nights. Why?  Because the supermarket is empty and she can shop quickly and hassle-free.  Makes sense, right?

Sure.  But what does this have to do with marketing?  Turns out, quite a bit.

The marketing discipline has undergone radical change over the past 5 years.  Marketing 2.0:  Social media, SEO, web analytics, inbound marketing, blah blah blah.   I just heard someone pitching a concept called Marketing 3.0 — I think I might already be behind.

I’m not saying I’m not a fan of these tactics.  I am.  A huge fan.  Never before have we had the ability to do so much, so quickly, at so little cost.  And never before have we been able to test vehicles and messages so easily.  It’s great.  And everyone’s doing it.

Wait, what?  Everyone is doing it?  That phrase should set off a giant flashing warning sign.   It sure does for me.  When everyone is doing it, it’s time to think differently.  It’s our job as marketers to break through the clutter, not to contribute to it (though too often we do).

How often do you get a letter or package at work these days?  Almost never, right?  Me too.  And when I do get one, I’m far more likely to check it out  than I was 10 years ago when my mailbox bulged with various crap.  My email inbox is filled to overflowing all week.  I ignore a lot of email.   It looks to me like physical direct mail might be a good tactic to break through the clutter every now and again.

But direct mail?   Might work.  Might not.   It’s really just an example.  The point is bigger — we don’t have to do what everyone else does.  We can (must!) experiment with new tactics.  Some of what’s new might actually be “old.”  Who cares?  The point is to break through.

I’m not saying you should give up Twitter or stop blogging, or even that you shouldn’t get excited about Marketing 3.0 (though that one does seem a bit questionable).  What I’m saying, to quote Apple, is this:  think different.  Break through.    Try some experiments.   Test.  Riff.

This is the fun stuff.  And frankly, it’s a lot of fun to beat the clones who are just doing it because “everyone is.”

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