Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Marketing & the Continual Path of Learning

I've been so immersed in work - picking up some new responsibilities as well as the novelty of finally having a Smartphone that I haven't taken as much time as I'd like to unplug with a good book.  Two chapters into "Engage" by Brian Solis and I'm motivated to change that. 

I took a class at UST a while back that really reminded me that finding time for learning is so important.  It's about staying relevant, but also admitting that things change faster that we'd like in the marketing landscape and if you're not staying on top of where it's heading, you'll just fall farther & farther into obsolescence.

We have been so conditioned as marketers to value what's tested & true ~ what can be validated through the use of analytics and risk models. In this age of the socialization of media, that is no longer a given.  As consumers, we no longer buy into a top down philosophy on approaching our buying decisions.  We are finally in control and consumers are guiding the markets in new and unsettling directions.

"Don't speak to me in messages...Give me something to believe in...I am influential." - Brian Solis

Some of us are more eager to embrace these changes than others.  We can't be afraid to move forward because we don't have all the answers.  Do so & you will be left behind.  

"Engage or Die" - Brian Solis

I love the term mindshare.  Dictionary.com provides several practical definitions: 
a. The amount of attention required by something, the time spent thinking about something.
b. The development of consumer awareness about a specific product or brand in hopes that they will buy the product or brand.
c. The level of awareness in the minds of consumers that a particular product commands.  

Seriously, it's no longer just about capturing market share - the name of today's game is about mindshare, participating in conversations and maintaining visibility for your products & your brand. 

"If your brand is absent from these conversations...It means you're off the radar screens in your customer's decision-making processes." - Brian Solis 

The first major takeaway out of the first two chapters would be to remember that "we...are still learning." Mistakes, triumphs & observations are all critical to the process of establishing new norms, metrics & benchmarks.  I for one want to be that person who will speak up and encourage leadership to take the leap into their unknown.  The rewards will come as long as patience, active listening and participation in relevant communities become the backbone of your socialization efforts.

If you haven't picked up your copy of "Engage" for your library or downloaded it to your digital reader, I can tell already that this is one you won't want to miss. If you're interested in more previews, check back often. I'll be blogging about this book a few more times before I reach the end.

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