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Many tech marketers are still grounded in Marketing 1.0 land

interruptI enjoyed attending the 2009 IDC Directions Conference in Boston yesterday. By listening to marketers who attended the conference, I realized that many tech marketers are still solidly grounded in a Marketing 1.0 world – a marketing world with few leverage points, and one that is increasingly hard to sustain.

Statements like “We look at how many new names we have in our database,” or calling social networks “the digital marketplace,” or just the fact that they lament that only 20% of all content developed by marketing gets used by sales, illustrate my point.

Let’s take them one at a time.

When someone measures success of a marketing program by looking at how many new names there are in their database they are only concerned about one thing – having a one way monologue with that prospect. You know the routine, after that comes the qualification process – spamming everyone in that database so that the ones who are not about to buy can be ejected from their prospecting funnel. Those marketers do not realize that the most important conversations in the marketplace are those among prospects, customers and detractors – not the ones that happen between companies and those people. They need to develop content that will become part of those conversations and set up ways to attract only those prospects who are ready to engage with the company.

Calling social networks a digital marketplace is not only wrong, it also shows the mindset of marketers – always focused on the transaction part of customer relations, not the relations (in a very broad sense). It is wrong to confuse the two because the underlying driver in social networks is the social, while the underlying driver in marketplaces is the economic transaction. You can have a marketplaces with social networking capabilities (i.e., eBay), although most marketplaces do not have social networking, and most social networks do not have marketplaces.

Only 20% of content produced by marketing gets used by sales. That is a shame and should be corrected, but focusing on that again exposes the mindset of the marketer 1.0 – empowering sales to interupt and catch that prospect and turn them into a customer. Based on the conversations I heard yesterday nobody seems to be concerned about the percentage of content that actually gets used by prospects. Which brings me back to the first point – the most important conversations are those among your prospects, detractors and customers, not the ones you intend on having with them.

An interrupt-driven Marketing 1.0 world has no leverage points.

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