Removing Technology

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It’s sad that most Marketers think that Digital Marketing, Social Media and/or mobile is going to save them.

This revolution in Marketing that we’re going through is not about technology, platforms, channels or anything else like that. At the end of the day, you can unplug all of the computers, you can kill your mobile access and you can shut down your server bays and you’ll still be left with a few key kernels of what it takes to make a difference in your marketplace.

Remove all of the technological hurdles that you have in front of your brand and focus on:

  • A compelling story.
  • A defendable and unique market position.
  • Making your content as shareable and as findable as possible.
  • Doing nothing that doesn’t add economic value to the brand.
  • Connecting to the people who truly do want to be connected to you (not just the ones who "like" you on Facebook because you’re subtly bribing them).
  • Quit pushing your Marketing department and agency to be more innovative. Most brands aren’t even doing the basics right. No need to worry about innovation until you have a foundation for success.
  • Don’t try for viral. Getting something to go viral or getting thousands of people to connect to you is a false God. If you go back to creating a compelling story, it will go viral and get many followers by the very nature of it.
  • Copying is not flattering. It’s boring. It’s even more boring when the copy isn’t better than the original.
  • Don’t underestimate your consumer. They’re smart, they’re connected and they’re smarter than you.
  • Get rid of the fine print. Nobody reads it and nobody understands it, but worse: it’s mostly used as a bait and switch.
  • Contests and couponing works… sadly. So, do it, but promise yourself that your marketing won’t be entirely driven by it. You’re better than that.
  • People will come and people will go, but your integrity is all that you have.
  • Technology is not what’s stopping you… your ideas are.
  • Real relationships are not built on offers… they’re built on long-term value.

It’s not about the technology.

Technology is a by-product of this new marketing revolution. You can’t blame the IT department for a lack of success. In the end, you can remove all of the technology we’ve been afforded and your job would still be the same: get people to really care about your brand, do it in a real way and get them loyal to whatever it is that you’re selling.

What would you add to this list?


  1. Good list.
    The only thing I’d add is, and this kinda plays into point 6, about providing a platform for customers to create their own value. Nike, Apple, Android are all great examples of this but it also can work small and local. A Local Directory, for instance. They may think they are in the ‘directory’ business but really they are in the data business. Creating potential for shared value for all constituents from that data and they become a platform rather than defined by a product ‘category’.

  2. Great points Mitch. Riffing off yesterday’s podcast w @GeoffRamsey I’d suggest marketers consider what useful information they generate on a regular basis and publish that.

  3. Great list Mitch!
    I would add that you shouldn’t be scared to test new ideas/products with your customers. The social web has made it too easy for brands to go to their online audience for opinions – take it old school & invite the people you are ‘engaged’ with online & ask them to work with you on a product offline. Great feedback for you but also makes them feel special.

  4. Well said Mitch, wisdom for brands… Substance over fluff, truth over manipulation. You are right a great defendable USP will make a brand more compelling than trying to churn and fake it.

  5. Bringing it back to the basics is key, the product might change… The fundamentals never do.

  6. Nice bolg – I tend to be pro-apple person, but have to give RIM it’s kudos on some aspects of technology (like BBM). I’d like to also think that top-level attitude is starting to make an impact. As much as Steve Jobs might be a demanding perfectionist (like that can be a bad thing) he keeps pretty much all of it inside of Apple. Jim Balsillie on the other hand has spent a ton of time being a big mouth – from trying to muscle ownership of an NHL team to trashing aspects of the iPad when that was first introduced. So, Joel, as much as innovation is large part of the ‘bad week’ that RIM had, I think that other factors do play a role.

  7. I would add that there’s no substitute for face-to-face (or even phone) conversations with customers. With all of the listening and publishing and social technology out there, sometimes putting it aside and making actual contact is the best marketing strategy.

  8. Love this list! You’re right – with social media and the internet age, people spend too much time worrying about the tools instead of the strategy behind them.
    Here’s what I would add to the list:
    Deliver amazing service and find ways to continually surprise and delight your current customers. All the marketing in the world can’t save you if your core offerings and customer service stinks. When you wow your customers, much of the other stuff takes care of itself.

  9. Useful comments, but I’ll give most clients and their agencies a bit more credit than that. The internet has been around for more than 40yrs and social media for just short of 10yrs. Marketers have learnt a lot since then, much faster than any other medium because of the extent to which campaigns on most technology platforms can be measured. I’ll take everything you mentioned, add the fact that we have an infinite amount of channels and even more messages and it boils done to technology that will have to help marketers to find the right customer and the most relevant time through a mountain of data at their disposal. Exciting times!

  10. A point which follows what Laura and Rosemary said: Attract people to your product or idea and meet with them in a real world (like home play)

  11. A point which follows what Laura and Rosemary said: Attract people to your product or idea and meet with them in a real world (like home play)

  12. I’ve been sitting on pins and, finally, someone has said it out loud. Thank you, Mitch! Those pins were starting to pinch. 🙂
    “What would you add to this list?”
    I’ve always believed a person’s best and most valuable asset is a sense of humor. So don’t be afraid to incorporate some humor into your marketing. The times I’ve added a gaggle of giggles to someone’s day via a blog post, for example, have been the most rewarding for me and my readers! Bottom line: Don’t ignore or overlook an opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face. The value is immeasurable.

  13. I want to stand on a table and shout Yes! Yes! Yes! but I may be misunderstood. I’m not a marketer but sympathise/empathise with everything you’ve said from a biz development point of view.
    I’d like to see a series of ‘Removing Technology’ posts and would add my pet favourite: remove technology from presentations. If someone can’t stand on their hind legs on hold an audience its not gonna get any better by adding power point or other tech. The message has to have meaning all by itself.
    Thanks Mitch. I’m off to trumpet your message.

  14. I’ll second that motion, Ann!
    And I’m not just whistling Dixie here. I’ve been standing in front of audiences for three decades. And guess what? I don’t use one stitch of technology in my presentations. 🙂

  15. Mitch this article perfectly illustrates the art of slowing down in our busy technology crazed world. It takes quiet time and reflection to write about your product or service in an interesting way. Anything less and people can see right through it.
    Thanks for reminding me of the important things!
    Libby Lucas

  16. Great post. “New” media has changed how marketing messages are delivered, but what it still comes down to are the basics. Without knowledge of the fundamentals of marketing, you will never be successful just because you have access to new technology.

  17. Love that the first bullet is to have or tell a compelling story. Without a story, it’s difficult to highlight value, and consequently, to have a relevant value proposition. Plus, stories are the best way for remembering the point of the message.
    Nicely done.

  18. This post reminds me of Simon Sinek’s “Start With WHY”. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. Too often we focus on how and what, forgetting why we’re here in the first place.

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