Marketing: From Manipulation to Meaning

The proliferation of digital contact points has created a significant tipping point for marketing, shifting the balance of power towards consumers and away from large corporations.

Historically brands were built using a “broadcast” model (David Armano), a top down approach where a brand manufactures the messages and figures out how to get that message out to as many consumers as possible. Today this model is significantly less effective as digital tools have shifted power from broadcast media and created individualy empowered consumers. In its place is more of a “brand facilitation” model, where the brand creates environments where the brand can create value, stimulate conversations and participation. This shift in model demands that marketers stop Manipulating Consumers and start building Meaning.

John King of Fallon sums up the shift in focus “Tomorrows consumers are not looking to buy, but to BUY INTO SOMETHING”.

How to create Meaning?

1.Be Transparent

2. Be judged by your Acts not your Words

3. Be Coherent not necessarily Consistent

4. Be Generous, or at least Useful

5. Encourage Participation and Interaction

6. Always Act Small.

I just stumbled upon this great Tom Fishburne cartoon that sums up the modern marketers dilemma brilliantly.