“Marketing Is Dead And Loyalty Killed It.”

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Marketing Is Dead And Loyalty Killed It.” An interesting statement and you may be wondering how that’s even possible? This very timely article a couple of days ago from HBR (Harvard Business Review), highlights how marketing has shifted from a one-sided endeavor where consumers are merely people to sell to, to creating brand values and content that people want to be affiliated with, helping define not just the brand, but the customer in the process. Here’s an excerpt:

Customers keep coming back to J. Crew, Chipotle, and Apple because being a loyal fan of the brand reassures them that they are succeeding in being a certain kind of person. People expect convenience from a transaction, but what they crave is meaning. A marketer’s thundering from the top of a mountain like the voice of God will be quickly spotted for what it is – a disconnected jumble of hollow words bouncing along the canyon walls. Building loyalty is much harder work, and it requires not only valuing customers, but liking them enough to have a conversation every day. Bringing passion and excitement to that conversation requires genuine enthusiasm for your own products and mission. The Chief Loyalty Officer’s job isn’t about asking, “What should this company say?” It’s nothing less than answering the question, “What should this company be?”

And as the latest Havas Worldwide Survey of 16-34 yr olds (titled Hashtagnation: Marketing To The Selfie Generation) concludes, “It’s not about telling customers who/what to be, but about helping them to be a better version of their most authentic selves.”

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