What was the one piece of Marketing advice that you read, were told, heard or saw that has stuck with you?
If you’re like me, you’ve probably been very lucky. Over the years, I’ve worked with some amazing people, read a ton of business books and – to this day – follow some of the most fascinating and smartest people online (Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter, etc…). With that, there is still one passage I read in the book, The Cluetrain Manifesto (written by Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls and David Weinberger), in 1999 that not only re-framed everything I thought I knew about Marketing and Business but – to this day – acts as a guiding light and one of the best pieces of Marketing advice I have ever received.
The best piece of Marketing advice I ever received…
"Most corporations, on the other hand, only know how to talk in the soothing, humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal. Same old tone, same old lies. No wonder networked markets have no respect for companies unable or unwilling to speak as they do. But learning to speak in a human voice is not some trick, nor will corporations convince us they are human with lip service about ‘listening to customers.’ They will only sound human when they empower real human beings to speak on their behalf. While many such people already work for companies today, most companies ignore their ability to deliver genuine knowledge, opting instead to crank out sterile happytalk that insults the intelligence of markets literally too smart to buy it."
How far we’ve come. How far we must go.
As fast as the world changes, not that much has changed. The Cluetrain Manifesto is twelve years old. The ideas are close to fourteen years old. The Cluetrain Manifesto was written long before platforms like Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and almost anything else we all use daily to make more real and human connections happen. The term "Social Media" didn’t even exist back then. That gem of knowledge signified that change is here, and that people are smarter than we have, traditionally, given them credit for. Having connectivity makes us more informed and that is a very powerful thing. To this day, I can look back at some of the biggest (and worst) Marketing snafus and think to myself, "had the people who created this mess read that one paragraph from The Cluetrain Manifesto, things may have turned out differently."
What’s the best piece of Marketing advice you ever received?