I’m sure most marketers have known, read and idolized Peter Drucker – the Michael Jordan among marketing practitioners. I’m curious to see how Drucker defined marketing and how all the new-fangled ideas of web 2.0 marketing actually parallel his thought process.
Drucker’s take on Marketing: “Business has two basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.”
Drucker’s take on marketing communications: “For centuries, we have attempted communication ‘downward’. This however, cannot work, no matter how hard and how intelligently we try. It cannot work, first, because it focuses on what we want to say. It assumes, in other words, that the utterer communicates. There can be no communication if it is conceived as going from ‘I’ to ‘thou.’ Communication works only from one member of ‘us’ to ‘another.’” – (via FusionBranding: How to Forge Your Brand for the Future, by Nick Wreden, via Evelyn Rodriguez in a 04 post on her blog). Thanks, Evelyn.
Let’s just take the state of marketing communications within a Fortune 500 company. I’m sure we’ve all seen numerous brochures, customer evidence/customer reference programs that aim to communicate “downward”. Agreed until now, the opportunities to communicate in parallel or between prospects was minimal, but things are changing, thanks to web 2.0.
Imagine the potential to communicate from “one member of us to another”, which I interpret as from one prospect to another. So contrary to the company posting it’s successes via a customer success story, what’d be better if a current customer touts the company’s success in a credible & authentic manner via a third-party. Yes, I mean third party. My first thought process is how about setting up an extensive “Wikis Project” where your customers & prospects get a chance to interact. Wikis as many of you know (popularized by Wikipedia) is defined as a “type of website that allows users to add, remove, or otherwise edit all content, very quickly and easily”
Costs for a Fortune 500 company: Free. Some of the advanced packages charge a nominal fee annually.
Benefits: (i) Archiving of prospects and customers thoughts’ on your product/service, (ii) let your golden-customers convince your prospects of the benefits of your product/service, (iii) help and be helped – prospects are always looking for credible info on your products/services. Be a focal point for their information needs, (iv) earns the trust of your prospect, and (v) communicate effectively – the way Drucker envisioned it!