Mad Men Beware. Seth Godin Is Here.

By Tom Caldecott

Seth Godin’s “Leading the Experience Revolution” Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld general session Wednesday was about saying good-bye to the old style of mass marketing and hello to embracing humanity, making connections, and leading tribes.
Godin is a best-selling author and founder of Squidoo.com and an evangelist for what he calls “permission” marketing.

It is about “… the privilege of talking with people who want to be talked to, of marketing to people who want to be marketed to. It’s about providing anticipated, personal, and relevant messages to those who want to get them,” Godin said.

Permission marketing requires getting to know the people not as a mass of faceless prospects but as human beings with interests who want to connect with other people—who want, in Godin’s words, to be part of a tribe of people with similar interests.

Godin began his session by reviewing where marketing and advertising have been: the Mad Men days of mass marketing was, he said, the era of more; forcing advertising and marketing pitches on the faceless, impersonal mass market, inundating the market with more and more advertising, promoting more of the same products to more prospective buyers so that they would buy more, and giving businesses more and more sales. The result? A world of clutter, of noise, and of a market that has learned to tune out the clutter that holds no interest.

Today, the internet has created a new world of communication and message-gathering options for prospective buyers. “You can no longer force people to listen to you talking about something boring,” said Godin. So how does a marketer succeed in today’s new world?

“Your customers are a tribe waiting to happen,” said Godin. “They’re waiting for someone to communicate with them and let them communicate with each other, to connect them, to commit to where they’re going, to create a culture around them, to challenge them to the next level and be clear about what’s important.”

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