There has certainly been a lot of content generated recently about the virtues of the “new marketing” and the focus on niche segments, consumer to consumer communication, and permission vs. interruption approaches. Is it a real revolution or a fad? The question we prefer is: what’s the difference? So let’s see what your average dictionary says about these terms.
Revolution – noun: a sudden, complete or marked change in something
Fad – noun: a temporary fashion, notion, manner of conduct, etc., especially one followed enthusiastically by a group
Certainly there are elements of both definitions that are applicable to the new marketing. It is relatively sudden but far from complete, and it is clearly followed enthusiastically by many but perhaps too early to call permanent (though we believe it is not likely to be temporary). It is also a marked change from the tactics of decades of marketing, especially for the biotools industry. While some industries have embraced the tools of the new marketing such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like, and have spent countless keystrokes of content on the boundless blogisphere, the biotools industry has been slow to embrace this new realm. Why is that? Maybe it is a problem of evolution.
In Seth Godin’s nauseatingly titled, but insightful book Meatball Sundae, he points out the importance of embracing the “fashion and stories and permission and promises” of the new marketing because the old marketing is “caveman marketing”. He has a point. We all are saturated with in-your-face, look-at-me, push, push, push carpet bombing marketing campaigns, or as Godin calls it “interruption marketing”. The web has made this type of marketing easier to do – but also easy to ignore. After all a mouse click is easier than turning a page. Last time I looked cavemen either evolved or lost out to natural selection.
So why not play to the web’s strength and let natural selection, a well understood biological paradigm, run its course? As all life scientists understand, natural selection relies on countless random changes leading to an eventual and inevitable successful combination creating a competitive advantage. But timing is everything. We prefer to think of the new marketing as a healthy dose of directed evolution.
Adapt to the new environment. That means changing. Translated to the biotools industry, Godin and other’s are actually saying you may need to change a lot about the way you try to get your customer’s attention. Show them your cool new stuff but don’t interrupt them (in-your-face marketing) to do so. Be confident the cool new stuff actually is going to help your customer because permission marketing is about the customer, not your products or services. In fact, you may need to let go and just give away some value. If they like it they will want it and come back. If they don’t like it then you learned something valuable.
Maybe that is not such a huge change after all. Successful biotools companies educate their customers (translation: provide relevant and informative content) and add value (translation: risk giving something valuable away because it will be useful to customers) and gain loyalty (translation: build trust by keeping promises).
Percepta can help you evolve when you are ready.