Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tools Change; Marketing Does Not

This post by Robert Steers on his Be Excellent blog argues that marketing as a discipline may be unrecognizable in 10 years. He offers a lot of evidence with regard to developing technologies and how they are or will be deployed.

The idea that marketing keeps changing because the "tools" are evolving is a common belief; This is not a bad thing all in all, but it misdirects people away from what marketing really is. Marketing is about trying to influence emotions and evoking a preferred response. Stated in a simpler way, it is about wanting people to like "me" (or firm, or idea, or....)

What emotions or beliefs we can touch in another human being has not changed since the dawn of mankind. Barring forced servitude, people have always made their choices about what they like, what they will pursue, and what they believe based on the same dozen or so base emotions/feelings.

So... can marketing change? As an attorney trying to attract business, no matter what tools I use to initiate contact matters little to the final choice. The final choice has been and always will be a face-to-face activity; a relationship.

Tools are cool. Tools will not change marketing. If your marketing programs are all about the tools you use then I urge you to step back and consider what your target audience is feeling about the experience.
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