Top Truths and Lies about Marketers

Here's some truth about marketing from Futurelab, its a response to Guy Kawasaki's lies which is profile below. I am summarizing the points that I really like.

Simplicity rules!

Advertising and feature overload is making consumers “tune out” (now even proven by neurologists). Real marketers respect this and focus their messages on the essence of what they’re trying to say, simply deleting all the rest. They also avoid countering marketing immunity by bigger doses of promotion, yet focus on timing their message only at the most relevant moment (ironically saving a bundle of budget in the process).

Trust customers as much as you expect them to trust you.

In the social media space reputations can be made or broken in the blink of an eye, and there’s nothing a brand can do about it. Real marketers see this and proactively open up their treasure box to their community of users. They publicly own up to mistakes and involve consumers in creating promotions and even products. Above all, real marketers understand that love for a brand starts with trust, and to earn trust you first have give it.

There’s nothing wrong with hard work

For some, marketing is a profession which is 90% about coming up with ideas and then farming out the “doing” to agencies. Real marketers see this differently. They implement rigorous processes to ensure initiatives get executed on-time, on-budget and with maximum financial impact on the business. They go along on sales calls, not to talk about their latest campaign, yet to listen, learn and help the account manager get the business. In short, they roll up their sleeves and work.

CLick here for the whole article.

And on to the top lies from "whistle-blower" Guy Kawasaki: Love the definition of "viral" and totally agree with the Microsoft "innoculation". Dun those guys EVER GET IT???

4. "We're confident that our product is extremely viral." Steve Jurvetson best defined virality as "the involuntary adoption of a product." The key word is involuntary–for example, in the early days of instant messaging, ICQ was a viral product because if you wanted to instant message, you had no choice but to install ICQ. Any decent product can generate word of mouth advertising, but very few products are truly viral.Anti-example: Have you ever wanted to post a comment to an MSN-hosted blog only to be confronted with the message that you have to sign in with a Microsoft .NET Passport? That's not virality–that's innoculation.

9. "This is how we are going to position the product." This is a lie of naivete that indicates a lack of real-worldliness and experience. You might try to position your product in a certain way, but ultimately customers, not you, position your product. You take your best shot and then you see how customers react–if, frankly, they react at all. But, at the end of the day, you're hardly in total control of positioning.

"Our product is so unique that it has no competition." (Maura Welch). It has no competition for two possible reasons: (a) You're clueless and don't know how to use Google; (b) there's no market for it so no one else is dumb enough to do the same thing.

I included the last point cos this is a common lie many business plans presenters or entrepreneurs refuse to believe. I included it so i can remind myself again. There's no more ideas thats new in this world. Idea generation is dead, but idea conceptualization and execution can be innovated upon.

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4 thoughts on “Top Truths and Lies about Marketers

  1. Hi perhaps your readers will have a better understanding of you meant by “simplicity rules” by showing them the video on Microsoft trying to package Apple… Additionally, you still seem to be pretty “annoyed” over the fact that you’ve to use IE to comment on a MSN-hosted blog, or should I say that your “unfortunate” experience provided you with an excellent counter example?

  2. that is not an isolated incident. You are mistaken if you think i have a bad impression of MS solely because of that. haha… you should read more on the web, perhaps one prominent example is web 2.0 software devts, other like the security vulnerabilities of MS, their lack of useability functions, going back to them stealing the GUI interface from Apple in 1985, a general lack of elegance and class of their products opposed to Apple and the open source movements….. and understand why those who know their computers and software hate MS.

  3. hey bjorn… surprisingly i find your blog quite interesting, not like how nancy put it to be. haha. like this post a lot, esp the last point. How true…

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