“Mindless habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation.”
– Rosabeth Moss Kanter
In their book “Meaningful Marketing”, Doug Hall and Jeffrey Stamp lay out the differences between what they call ‘meaningful marketing’ and mindless marketing.
Meaningful marketing is a data-driven, analytical and methodical approach to getting the most from your marketing efforts while minimizing cost, effort and waste and maximizing sales, efficiency and long-term repeatable effectiveness.
Mindless marketing is that which causes you drop your prices at the whim of your customer, spend countless and unaccounted for dollars on promotions while hoping that customers respond differently to the same tired, repetitious messaging scheme.
How do determine if you’re doing “Meaningful Marketing”
- Your marketing is actually useful in helping your customers make the best decision for their particular set of needs
- Your marketing materials are 100% honest with no puffery
- Your marketing is transparent and authentic and speaks with earned authority
- Your marketing has FOCUS (target markets, message, what you sell and what you don’t sell)
- All marketing is focused on customer acquisition and business growth (retention is a great goal too, but I simply call that ‘re-acquisition’)
- Your marketing actually seeks to engage in a dialogue with customers rather than just ‘talk at them’ (think: blogging)
- Your marketing seeks to fill a valid and well defined need rather than simply persuade a gullible customer into a one-time purchase
Watch out for these signs of “Mindless Marketing”
- You use sales & marketing gimmicks or tricks to capture interest
- You don’t rely on the actual merits of your product/service to sell themselves and stand on their own
- Your marketing is faddish or trendy and not part of an overall strategic plan
- You have succumbed to ‘bright shiny object syndrome’ and are using the latest social media vehicles or other marketing tools without an understanding of how/why/what to expect them to do for you
- Your marketing is focused on the transaction and not the relationship
At the end of the day, there’s no sense in marketing for the sake of marketing. It’s common sense really. As I was looking for some resources for a project recently, I found this quote from the government in one of the SBA marketing guides.
ALL company policies and activities should be aimed at satisfying customer needs, and PROFITABLE sales volume is a better company goal than maximum sales volume.
I would add that “ALL MARKETING activity should be focused on delivering a meaningful message and adding value during the prospect’s decision making process”