There is a symbiotic relationship between technology and social change. Technology changes how we socialise and how we socialise inspires new technology. It empowers us as individuals, groups and organisations ands improves customer relationships.
Yet, while it’s very easy to see new technology develop, it is can be very hard to see the social impact it has. Take Twitter as an example. Suddenly it arrived. We really saw its social power with the floods in China and how earned media can work.
Of course marketers want to harness this power to develop customer relationships. Yet how do we create a China flood around our brands?
Yet technological and social changes are two really different things and have one remarkably different characteristic:
- Social change is exponential and goes up. It evolves, grows, expands, and learns. It is about consciousness and subject to evolution. There is no shelf life and its potential is unlimited. Your customer relationships are subject to social change.
- Technological change is limited and goes down. It is a physical thing and subject to the law of entropy. It deteriorates and has a very definite shelf life. Something will replace it. It is a series of bell curves where the new technology replaces the old.
The lesson for marketers (and business)
The idea of marketing in the 1960 was very simple:
Brand = Product + Idea.
This was then broadcast through print, radio and TV. It was a one-to-many conversation where the message was expensive, done by professionals and scarce.
Yet fast forward to the 2010. The internet has taken these one-to-many medium and merged them into a many-to-many medium. Your consumer of information is now a producer of information as it is cheap, easy and there is plenty of it. This makes Brand = Product + Idea irrelevant.
This question of relevance is the cross roads we are now sitting at. And business need to look at how social change is changing their business rather than how technology has changed business.
Marketing must mirror thinking, not technology
Marketing is about converting sales. This is why we need to design our marketing strategies around our customers thought process rather than a technological process or a structured methodology.
To understand the difference in thinking just read the two exerts from the 1960′s when the marketing methodology of B=P+I was developed.
This first almost seems a prank when you see how archaic the thinking, yet we know there was a time when women were expected to behave in this way:
When retiring to the bedroom, prepare yourself for bed as promptly as possible. Whilst feminine hygiene is of the utmost importance, your tired husband does not want to queue for the bathroom, as he would have to do for his train, but remember to look your best when going to bed. Try to achieve a look that is welcoming without being obvious. If you need to apply face cream or hair rollers, wait until he is asleep before doing so, as it can be shocking for a man last thing at night. When it comes to the possibility of intimate relations with your husband, it is important to remember your marriage vows and in particular, your commitment to obey him.
If he feels that he needs to sleep immediately afterwards, then so be it. In all things be led by your husband’s wishes. Do not pressure him in any way to stimulate intimacy. Should your husband suggest congress, then, agree humbly all the while being mindful that a man’s satisfaction is more important than a woman’s. When he reaches his moment of fulfilment, a small moan from yourself is encouraging to him and quite sufficient to indicate any enjoyment that you may have had.
Should your husband suggest any of the more unusual practices, be obedient and uncomplaining but register any reluctance by maintaining silence. It is likely that your husband will fall promptly asleep after relations have concluded, so once he is fast asleep, adjust your clothing, freshen up and apply your night-time face and hair care products.
You may then set the alarm so that you can arise shortly before him in the morning. This will enable you to have his morning cup of tea ready when he awakes.
And if we read from the good wife guide, here is the opening paragraph:
Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return from work. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.
If there is one thing that we can conclude is that the world has changed and how we think has changed.
Marketing is not a static process or methodology anymore but rather dynamic, evolving process, just like building customer relationships.