July 21, 2016

Why Marketing Doesn’t Get It

John Wunderlich wrote this and it appeared in my VRM INBOX today.

Sometimes I read stuff like this and am reminded of an episode of “Big Bang Theory” in which Sheldon, the archetypal nerd with no social skills, determines that he can make friends by following a flow chart. Marketing is not a one-to-one tool, it is a brand management and presentation tool.

Dang. I saw that Big Bang episode just the other day and it didn’t click. John nailed it. The customer journey rubbish you see on web sites and in presentations is exactly the same issue! Try it. Really try it.

Me, back in early 2013. Me again in mid 2103. And many other places besides. I think that Sales’ prime channel is 1-1. Marketing’s prime channel is 1-many. To get specific on who the ‘many’ is - they invent personas, customer journeys, segmentation, and, and, …. and misses the point that we are people. Every one of us is unique and different. Sales implicitly understands that. Most recently as the internet has concatenated the marketing / sales engagement model, because ‘we the people’ - those pesky customers are a lot more informed. Meanwhile, the various customer facing leaders continue to argue as to who ‘owns’ the customer.  Let me say it again …

Neither of you. How dare you have the arrogance to even suggest that you ‘own’ me.

That is why I like this thinking, that originated with a Adrian Gropper - another member of the VRM list.


… it illustrates perfectly my thinking of how companies and organizations,  need to think about and engage with people. It isn’t sales. It isn’t marketing. Those are tools of the past. They represent the industrialization of the business process that is now being thrown out.

This logic is much more in line with my own customer centric argument. And to reiterate - customer centricity is not about layering a customer facing organization that hides the complex, hierarchical, industrialized nature of the organization from the customer, but rather a total rethink from top to bottom of how an organization engages with people.

Next I intend to fill out that highly linear process with iterations, accounting for repeat buying, subscriptions, account management etc - but I don’t want to risk making it too complex. In my mind there is a market place on the left that you engage with, win attention and the right to have a conversation etc etc - until that wonderful day you get someone saying ‘yes’ ! Sign me up. From that moment on, your only job is to continue to delight the new member of your community, so they want to keep coming back to you.


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