Full duplex marketing

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I was director of marketing at an educational technology company named Teq a couple of years ago and though the fit wasn’t a good one (I got canned) it was one of the most important weigh points of my career. It was there that I was introduced to the sciences of teaching and learning. It was there that I studied pedagogical theory and practice. I walked the halls of K12 institutions in rural and urban settings. I read kids compositions hanging on the wall. I was steeped in learning.

What was career-changing was coming to the conclusion that branding and marketing are best when focused on learning. When consumers are allowed to learn about product value, come to their own conclusions, and personally experience the “buy moment “ as my friends at BrandTuitive would say; then, they are likely to purchase with greater loyalty.

Today a study confirmed that students, especially African Americans, learn better by participating. When lectured (the way of most schooling), students don’t learn as well, but when engaged, in participatory mode, in teams, and with real-time exercises, they outperform.

This is how marketing should be. More experiential. Less tutorial. Less half duplex. (Full duplex is what you hear on your land line. Half duplex is what you experience on your cellie.)

A good brand plan provides demonstrations of the brand claim. Not messaging fodder. Real experiential examples. This is how the mind shift in marketing begins. Peace.

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There was a great piece in Contagious about how ad agencies are still overly concerned with the money maker that is outbound messaging. The article supports my boiled down thesis that “Branding is about claim and proof. Proof and deeds. Deeds and experiences. Strategically organized and soundly managed.”

The article’s writer Laurence Green, founding partner of 101 London, believes that outbound alone is old school and slowly being replaced by a more complete, informed, productized and bidirectional selling rigor; one where technology, media, product and creative come together to make people buy more, for more, more times.

One point in the article with which I might take issue is that the strategist and the coders should  play together for the optimal output. I need to think about this one. Digital strategist perhaps, but I’m not so sure about brand strategist. I’m not sure coders need more than the brand plan to mash up their digits. But hey, this is pioneer stuff and smart shops, whose buildables are steeped in full duplex marketing are still learning. Exciting stuff. Peace. 


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