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New Marketing Trend, Same Marketing Revolution

It’s funny how we as a marketing community feel compelled to recreate the same trend over and over again as a new revolution. Consider how the audience centric principles of social media have become repackaged over and over again during the past eight years.

We have moved from Web 2.0 to social media to social business to content marketing to the trend of the immediate future, context marketing (user experience).

Guy Fawkes - New Trend, Same Revolution

In all of these cases, while the technology evolves, the general revolution is the same: Customers have control of their media and experience. Brands need to listen and serve them conversations, er content, er, customized web pages, er, awesome experiences that are relevant to them.

With each year, evolving technology creates evolutions. Customers gain more content and media options and are even less likely to invest time in brands, and data has allowed marketers to become more targeted and personal in their communications.

Each technological innovation gives marketers a chance to develop relationships. But most marketers look at ways to interfere with the customer experience by inserting messages via content, social network updates, “native” advertising, highly segmented email lists, etc. And so most brands lose that magical opportunity to strengthen their brand with emerging media, and instead drive customers further into the niche.

This is the ebb and flow of the same revolution, the revolution of the people formerly known as the audience.

While we get more and more specific with our brand messaging, people do not need to listen to us. And they frequently don’t.

Spam - Marketing Revolution

Commercial emailers sparked 70 percent of spam email complaints in Q3 2012.

I feel like the marketing sector has to reposition these evolutions as the new marketing revolution because we are so bad about becoming customer centric. In essence, brands are extremely self centric. That makes sense because they are made up of people. So when a new trend happens, marketers pretend to learn it, then abuse the media technology to spam people with messages. The trend loses its sheen because it’s not working, creating the need for a new trend/revolution.

The customer revolution is caused by people in control of their own media choices, and choosing unique niche experiences via the Internet. People have more media power than brands now.

Brands have more technological power, but because of their own inherent human nature, they are unable to capitalize on the new trend.

Relationships are hard. Especially when the power dynamic changes.

What do you think of the latest marketing trends?

Image: Joachim S. Mueller (Creative Commons)

About Geoff Livingston

Geoff is president and founder of Tenacity5 Media, a digital marketing agency that provides content marketing and social media services. A former journalist, Geoff continues to write, and has authored five books. Follow him @geoffliving.

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