Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Schmarketing MQ

With the above picture hardly legible on purpose, let me tell you a small story. Three months ago I was contacted by Derek Singleton with a question about a poll on his company site. I liked the company, liked the site, liked the poll, so wrote a small post about it
This week, Hunter Richards had the audacity to contact me, same company, same site, different post. One thing is for sure: the next time I'm going to make a Whatever Magic Quadrant, I'm going to hire him as his one looks like the real kind

Hunter apparently is waging A War of Enlightenment Against Marketing Jargon, check out his brilliant Magic Quadrant and please do some mouse-overs on the picture for a good laugh. Meanwhile, I'll get some of the TWOCs alerted to it as well - the more the merrier they say

I dig enlightenment, jargon not so much, Marketing not at all. Marketing usually isn't much more or less than making false promises without getting caught. The power of suggestion, the awe of flashy pics, stunning Infographics that appear content-free on closer examination
I've written about how knowledge is acquired by just listening to people that we've come to accept as icons, leaders, peers. At a later point, I phrased that as "It's all a matter of peerception"

What is it? What is it, really, that makes us all go "Yum! Me likey" whenever we perceive something appealing? Is it our domestication, during which we learned to listen to Mom and Dad? And then, when Mom and Dad told us to listen to the teacher, we did that because it was just logical?
When they said to listen to the priest, the preacher, the reverent, did we do so because they said so? Well when did we decide to think for ourselves? Did we even start?

Regardless of the answer there, at some point we learned to be triggered by only three things: a visual, its image and the people supporting it.
  • If I had gotten a dollar for all the times I heard "You're the first to...", I'd probably be dictating this to a very good-looking secretary while lying in the jacuzzi with a cigar - majority vote counts
  • Cars, watches, designer clothes and shoes: we all should get them because they will give us an image we're apparently yearning for and feel lacking in ourselves. If only we buy them, we will feel better - right?
  • The visual is the most important one here. Carefully scripted, shot and photo-shopped images are all around us, showing us snapshots that no one else will ever see again, not even the people who made it - but buying the product will get us closer to that unattainable snapshot
Marketing abuses that Holy Trinity to lure us into buying old products in new jackets (SCRM for CRM, ESB for XML, SOA for ESB, EDA for SOA, Microblogging for Lotus Notes, etcetera), puff up the hot air balloon and quickly switch to the next new black before the bubble bursts.
On Twitter, the longest-lasting Marketing gig is Influence. Klout started that, calling themselves the standard for influence, and finding allies in marketeers with a large following. Guess what? The bubble grew bigger, Klout got a few millions, and should be on their way to the next

The result in real life? Playing the old maid game. Usually, that means the one who is implementing the bright and shiny ideas, gets the blame. guess what? That always is the IT-department. Project failure? IT! Costly implementation? IT! Bad performance? IT! Crap GUI? IT!

There is only one thing that counts, believe me. Think for yourself - and that means taking responsibility for all your actions; starting with the marketeers: do you know for sure that you are sending the right message?

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