Thursday, February 5, 2009

Max's mantras

Thanks to Nick for blogging in my absence - my 601 has been more work in the last week than I expected.

I wanted to put up a code of conduct for myself for my future in marketing, something which I can refer to throughout my career. It's a list of things I believe now and strive to follow. Periodically I look back on the blog and try to find nuggets of insights (amid a lot of the dreck!) which I still think are valuable. I'm also now reading a great book, Adland, and its quotes from Bernbach, Ogilvy, Wells, and Rubicam have got me really inspired. Years from now, I'd like to look back on this list and proudly say that these things mattered to be at a time when consumer marketing was experiencing an identity crisis.

Marketing’s future will be defined by the ability for consumers to own an experience and the ability for marketers to correctly identify those consumers.

The consumer experience implies that owning a product is not as satisfying as using a product or experiencing the transformative benefits. Marketers must capture the experience, in situ, of the consumer and the brand.

CRM must be at the centre of an integrated marketing solution.

Customer relationship management (or experience, conversation, or value management) imply a rational identitification of a marketer's customers and channels to create consistent marketing communications. Makes sense, right? What's different now is that CRM isn't tossed aside to act as a Skunkworks for future strategy. It's smack in the middle receiving input and guiding all channel strategies so that customers are spoken to in a unified way with measureable goals.


Reject as false anything except that which can be learned from your customers.

Remember that there's a reason customers buy from you. It's not because they owe you or they are short of options. It's because of some unique value proposition they relate to. Customer insights matter and the insights from your customers should be the only immediate truths.


As a consumer, demand only the best from marketers.

Passive response from consumers is a marketer's nightmare. It means that nothing was relevant or interesting. Complacent marketers who don't deliver the best solutions should no longer be allowed access to the customer conversation.

As an agency, be perceived as risk-taking.

The key word here is 'perceived'. Don't take risks. Rather, take perceived risks. The ready, fire, aim strategy is amateurish and unsustainable. Agencies which take calculated risks manage their opportunities and image better than those that take risky risks.

Love the fact that not everything can be measured in life.

Your customers are many things. But they are not simply an equation for value based on complex activity and demographic variables. They're people. Chaotic people. Much of marketing is scientific but there's a human element to creating a spark of action where previously there was none. This is more the product of art than analysis.

So these are just a few of my mantras. I'll add my others in the future. I hope this becomes like Oprah's Book List and I start seeing these phrases show up in assignments at school.

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