half 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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An oft-mentioned Goodby Silverstein mission suggests they focus on “making stuff people care about.”  It’s not an uncommon mission these days, especially as more ad and marketing revenue is tied to buildables. For Goodby, this seems to be working as a mission. It’s fun and memorable. But the reality is, it’s the job of marketers to make stuff (products) people buy. Agencies, therefore, need to make stuff that encourage people to buy. Knowing Goodby Silverstein as I do, they get this. They get that caring is a first step toward buying. I’m not worried about them. But a cottage industry of shops has been allowed to grow up building tchotchke communications that get attention, likes and pass-alongs but are light on buy.

cash register

I love social media and digital marketing. Done well. I believe digital advertising has the potential to far outpace traditional, half duplex (one way) advertising because it puts at consumer fingertips the ability to experience all the steps to a sale in a minutes. This, thanks to devices, media twitches and mobile connectivity. But the main body of practitioners are not there yet. They are still focused on trying to make stuff people care about. And that’s a shallow view. Once they make stuff that make people buy – that’s when the whoosh is going to happen. Can’t wait. Peace.

 

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