Kathy Sierra wrote a wonderful post recently called, “Pixie Dust and the Mountain of Mediocrity“. It includes these insights:
“We’re always searching for that secret formula, that magic pixie dust to sprinkle over our products, services, books, causes, brands, blogs to bring them to life and make them Super Successful … why are so many so convinced that [insert favorite buzzword] is the answer vs. just making a product that helps people kick ass in a way they find meaningful?”
Marketing is too often seen as something that happens at the perimeter of a business. Once everything is defined, marketing steps in to magically drive consumers to take products from the shelf. Even if the product experience is undifferentiated and unremarkable.
The most important marketing is indirect and long-term. It’s the hardest to measure, but the most meaningful when done well. This is the marketing that is baked into the entire organization. This is the marketing that makes meaningfully unique products and engaging consumer interactions.
The best marketing breaks the marketing silo. We all work in marketing, no matter what our functional expertise may be. We all impact our products and services and touch consumers in some way or another.
There’s no room to stand on the sidelines with eyes closed. What it takes to make our businesses fly isn’t fairy dust. It’s meaningful involvement from everyone.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post. I’ll pick one comment at 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)
Even more strange: marketing has been reduced to advertising for years now. Because everything else has been taken away by fellow departments in search of excellence, additional responsibilities, bonus opportunities, you know what I mean.
Everybody thought s/he could do marketing, ie. market the thing lying there on the table before them.
1991, in a strategy meeting I attended even before I officially started at GlaxoSmithKline, the marketing director explained that marketing and communication starts as soon as we talk to people outside BEFORE we start to develop the potential product. BEFORE WE EVEN KNEW what the potential product would be!
Everything we did was marketing or – in other words – marketing was the only thing we ever did. Talk to people, listen, create, innovate, deliver.
No marketing fairy dust, but plain business innovation and brand engagement – as I call it today.)
Tom, when not cartooning (eg. for Marketing Week), is method's international managing director. Based in London, he frequently speaks at campuses, companies, and conferences about marketing, cartooning, and how to spread business ideas. Twitter: @tomfishburne