We may all be in sales & marketing now, but I still consider myself an engineer that does business development; so I felt a little out of place at first. I’m also still digesting much of the talk, so this may be a little fragmented.
Ideas that spread win.
Seth began with a quick history lesson on marketing. He related the story of Josiah Wedgwood and the many business and manufacturing decisions that he took, leading to the greatest marketing success of the era. When Josiah died he was the richest man on the planet. He was also Darwin‘s grandfather and the wealth he passed on allowed Darwin to spend his days exploring and ultimately funded the research that produced “On the Origin of Species“.
Josiah was living through a time of profound change, he succeeded because he transformed a craft activity into an industrial business. That was the first of 3 industrial revolutions and Seth contends that we’re in the middle of a forth. I have to agree with him.
And it fundamentally isn’t about ‘black hat SEO‘ or clever ways to interrupt people.
Seth’s opening stance was that nobody listens to advertising any more. There’s too much clutter; everyone’s buying everything from everywhere, and you can’t interrupt them any more. As soon as you launch a product or feature, there are a hundred competitors and if you’re only competing on how loud your marketing can shout then you’ve already lost.
Seth went on to talk very briefly about the 14 trends, extrapolated from Meatball Sundae. Aligning the whole business, or organisation, around some of these trends would provide the conditions for it to flourish. Wouldn’t guarantee success but would provide the conditions for success.
|Direct communication & commerce between consumers & producers||Amplification of the voice of the consumer & indie authority|
|Need for authenticity as clutter increases||Short attention span due to clutter|
|Google & the dicing of everything||Infinite channels of communication|
|Direct communication & commerce between consumers & consumers||Shifts in scarcity & abundance|
|Triumph of Big Ideas||Shift from “How Many” to “Who”|
|The wealthy are like us||New Gatekeepers, No Gatekeepers|
Which is great to get the message flowing but how do you get the first customer to talk about your product/service if you can’t interrupt them any more? To a certain extent, Seth offered a simplistic solution, make your product/service remarkable. If its worth making a remark about, it stops being spam and becomes one human being talking to another human being. Word of mouth marketing.
There’s an obvious parallel with Hugh’s Global Microbrand concept. Being fantastically good at what you do, and building your business inseparably from new technologies in a way that simply wasn’t possible pre-internet.
An interesting proposition was that, in fact, we all need to be in the fashion business. Fashion is all about getting talked about. And as Oscar Wilde said:
the only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about
And on the internet, someone’s talking about you; even if you’re not part of that conversation. And if you’re not being talked about and you can’t interrupt people with advertising any more, you really are in trouble.
Seth wasn’t proposing that we’d all stop buying ‘regular stuff’ just because it wasn’t sexy. But if you want to launch a new product, or grow an existing market, or break into a new territory, the old rules don’t apply any more.
So what did I take away from the 4 hrs?
Well a head ache, which was pretty much what Seth promised. But also a very different approach to thinking about business/market development and the support that jbsh can offer.
- Helping companies to identify the key memes that their product/service represents
- Helping companies work through the 14 trends and identify the ones most important to them
- Building a business model that can generate revenue from those important trends
How are you building your business for the future?