May 23, 2010 Michael Bickerton
On October 21, 2009 in Advertising Age, Judy Shapiro addressed the shift that is happening in the media world. With a good grasp of the issues she talks openly about the opportunities and what it might take to benefit from all of this change. Einstein said, “The problem cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created it.” In other words we need to make a shift of mindset in order to come up with a smart solution with regard to the changes in the marketplace. Fact is there is nothing usual about business today. Companies with little focus and who have relegated marketing to the basement office will most certainly pay a steep price in The Google Age.
The main issue – the single action at the core of all this change is the fact that the consumer has changed the way they make their buying decision. I did not say they changed the way they buy or where they buy, yet those can well be impacted when they change the way they make their buying decisions.
In the past they would remember ads & promotions, talk to relevant friends & family, seek advice at store level and make their choice. In studies, it was difficult to give any one of these a heavier weighting than the others. But today, although we may still seek opinions and counsel from friends family and store clerks, by far and away, in Google we trust. Now we simply Google what we are looking for, assemble all the info we need and make our choice.
The problem is not that the consumer’s buying process has changed, it is that our marketing and sales process has not. Most businesses are no longer fishing where the fish are. The consumer has changed and we have not. Easily corrected indeed, BUT the mindset issue comes into play big time. If a marketer uses the same language, tactics and thinking when marketing online, they will likely have their hat handed to them by the communities they engage with. Go slow and LISTEN first. Act only when you have a feel for the community and the environment. This is like no medium you have ever used. Lose the corporate-speak. These are people you are talking to. In fact, we have a list of 21 marketing thoughts & ideas we live by that would serve most marketers when they go online.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5, 2010