We make a lot of the potential for technology, especially digital marketing (primarily search marketing) and social media marketing, to change how we do business. But you know what? It seems that all technology has done so far is give us new channels for the same old thing.

Perhaps we need to think a little more outside traditional marketing paradigms to make the best of the potential that all this digital age mumbo jumbo represents.

And it’s really quite simple: It comes down to people. As Ehsan puts it:

Don’t try to inspire; create [a] meaningful experience!

Ehsan recently wrote about the concept of the business as a Media House. And it is really interesting how a few simple, (not revolutionary) basic aspects of marketing, sociology and human behaviour might turn the idea of ‘marketing’ businesses in a new direction.

A key aspect of the tension between Marketing and Leadership is this: Many CEOs don’t trust marketers. Why? Because marketers revel in the mystique of marketing existing in some kind of black box reality that only ‘they’ can de-code. This is rubbish! Yet marketers haven’t created the black box on their own. Leaders can take some account: as many C-level executives dismiss things like socialization and human behaviour as ‘soft disciplines’ they push marketers to fabricate ‘science’ that legitimizes the numbers and measures aspect of results. Not everything that is good can be measured. And not everything that is measured is good!

Far too many marketers think they need to invest in tools and technology to monitor who says what online.

And further, too many businesses and brands pursue social media marketing as a broadcast activity. How many ways can we say this – nobody likes to be talked at, or sold to, or treated like a ‘market.’ A possible prescription for treatment of this malady is to “…to put [your] house in order and create meaningful and purposeful communities.”

No ‘influencer’ is going to create credibility for your business. To paraphrase Ehsan, ‘brand personality’ is the collective attitude and cultural values of a business’ people. Building meaningful communities is putting trust and empowerment in people – like  associates, colleagues,  and customers.

When you create purposeful communities, you make everyone feel included and valued…

Then, you’ll start creating value for your business, because you’re serving your customers effectively and efficiently. This is exactly what CEOs want to see.

How do these purposeful communities emerge and thrive? Your marketing team encourages Citizen Journalists to participate by creating and sharing their own content. And your Brand Journalists (associates, leaders, even executives) do likewise, creating communities aligned by values and the philosophy that when we each do well we all do well. Ehsan calls this your business DNA. It is challenging obsolete assumptions about how and what businesses communicate. And opening doors to transparent communication with, among and about all stakeholders in the brand, so you gain understanding about how language, attitude, personality and technology form behaviour in the era of multichannel, citizen-led communication.

Forget about the numbers; just try to produce meaningful and relevant content, then you’ll see your number of audience goes through the roof.

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Build a brand ecosystem in which stakeholders:

  • Share insights
  • Learn from each other
  • Recommend your business
  • Connect with you on every touch point, and
  • Engage with you on and offline

Now question time! 🙂

Q1: Why do you think CEOs distrust their marketing teams?

Q2: How can marketing teams gain trust with executive leaders?

Q3: There are significant differences between marketing and sales. What are the nuances of these differences?

Q4: How does ‘customer experience’ relate to marketing your business?

Q5: We think ‘community’ is an over-used term in social media and a misunderstood term. What do you think?

Q6: Can businesses be successful entrusting content creation to stakeholders like customer and employee advocates? How?

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