Great post from BuzzCanuck. I don't agree with it 100%, but things are changing.
Dear Traditional Marketer: A Goodbye Note from Your Word of Mouth Friend
I don't blame you for thinking the way you do. You're a product of your upbringing. How were you supposed to adapt to a world that changed do quickly.
I recognize, we were once very close, I believed in the same virtues as you, but now we've grown distant, I can't relate to you anymore.
As much as I have tried to convince you to lay off the campaigns, you continue to be hooked on them. Despite the enormous toll and financial burden they encumber, you are still addicted to these 30 second flights of fancy. I have tried interventions, I have tried rational arguments, I have threatened to leave. Can't you realize that your type can't live on reach alone? Well, this time, for my own health and welfare I must leave you.
I need to find a healthier life with those in forward-thinking PR roles, in your intuitively smart executive, in your digital world, in your progressive agencies, with your research visionaries, perhaps even those who think different than you in your very own department...people without the same vices that are killing you and your credibility each day.
See, these new friends realize that your campaigns are a drug, sure they may be exciting and provide you some level of self-esteem with the CEO or your family who watch them, but for how long and for what size of a hangover are your prepared to deal with afterward? Snort a line of successful ad copy and you'll be chasing that same wheel the rest of your career.
Sure Mad Men is a very interesting show....but let's be honest, that show is set in 1963 - we're a hell of a lot more cynical and attention-starved now. Don't you understand there is a world of people out there who want to love you, if only you let them. Their names are: customers, fans, influencers, evangelists, prosumers, mavens...please if not for me, do it for your own health and let them into your life. Talk to them, get to know them, they're good people.
I've already spent too much time in this message and I must be moving on. If I knew you were listening, i'd continue to roll that ball of the hill but I fear you are too far gone.
Enjoy your media budget largesse, post-rationalization theories for poor performance, self-perpetuating myths of controlling brand equity levers and anachronistic top-down management style...I fear these will become old and tired fast. Good luck,
Agent Wildfire, Your Word of Mouth Friend
How do we make CEO's and CMO's understand a conversation is going on, and that they need to be part of it? I work with retail businesses on a daily basis and most want instant gratification. Anything that does not increase sales instantly is not considered a worthy investment.