It's Only Common Sense: The New World Order—Disruptive Marketing

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If you care about the future of your company, do not skip this column!

I just finished a great new book by Geoffrey Colon called Disruptive Marketing and I have to say that reading this book will turn your world upside down. If you know anything about marketing or like me are a truly passionate advocate of the subject, it will blow your mind; or if you are someone who does not know or care about marketing or does not understand what marketing is or why we do it then this book will make your mind explode because this is so different than the marketing that you think you know you will not be able to grasp anything this guy is saying!

The subtitle of the book is, “What Growth Hackers, Data Punks, and Others Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach us About Navigating the New Normal.” Are you scared yet? You should be.

The real statement here is “the new normal,” because this is what the book is about. We have all been talking and wondering about social media, what it is, what it does and why we should bother with it. And now, finally, this book answers all of these questions. Yes, finally here is a writer who explains why social media is important and how it applies to the “new normal” of marketing.

First of all, be prepared to leave your comfort zone and never go near it again, but only if you want to be successful. You must understand this: There is no more status quo.

In the book, we learn that we are no longer going to be selling to customers, but engaging them. We will no longer be branding our own companies, but instead our customers are going to be branding our companies through social media, where they will talk about what it is like to use our products and experience our services. In short, our customers will explain what it is like to work with our companies.

Look, it all boils down to one thing: Our products and services will actually define our companies. Instead of reading our ads about our company’s products, people who have used these products will talk about them on social media, thus influencing others to use our products as well.

To paraphrase one reviewer, Disruptive Marketing isn’t so much a business book as a marketing manifesto. Marketing isn’t a set of core principles or effective practices…it is a way of thinking.

Suspend current reality for a moment and think of a world without any advertising, where there are no ads and no commercials, so that the only way you get to know a product is to try it and the only way to find out about a product is from those who have tried it first. This is the world we are entering. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a world run through social media; this is a world where companies that do not deliver a great product will not be able to hide. In this new world, you’d better deliver a great customer experience or you will die.

As Colon says in the book, “In the future the seeds of branding and marketing efforts will be rooted in what customers are talking about…Customer responses and feelings toward the brand will dictate future product development or enhancement. If the customers are happy they’ll happily wear the marketer’s hat and do what is needed to bring the brand to others in their interests or social graphs.”

See what I mean? It’s a bit scary, isn’t it? What you actually do, what you actually sell and how it serves your customers will in the end determine your success in this new “put up or shut up” world. People who don’t listen to customers will fail, and those who refuse to take their customers’ advice will die.

So, once again it all boils down to what the customer thinks about you. In the past, those companies that did not deliver great products could hide; they could get away with delivering poor quality products to some of their customers some of the time and continue to stay in business because there was no fast and easy way for customers to talk to one another and compare notes.

Now, if you have a bad experience on Delta Airlines, you can tweet or blog about it  and then those who have also had a bad experience on Delta can join in and add fuel to the fire. Soon there is a bonfire that Delta can no longer ignore and has to address. And—get this—the longer they take to address the issue, the bigger the bonfire blazes to the point where it will actually start hurting their sales and their bottom line.

Scary, isn’t it? Maybe it is, but maybe it is the way business and life should be. If you build good stuff that people love, they will love it enough to tell people about it. If you don’t, well you should have the picture by now.

It’s only common sense.


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