January 24th, 2016

Penned by Chief Strategy Officer Dave Corelli.
Follow Dave on Twitter and on Medium.

I was going to start with a series of posts that would lead to this one, telling myself I would build to this. That it needed time to percolate.

In the last hour, I’ve started three of those such posts. Typed a few words. Deleted them all.

This is where it all begins. It's the thread that ties all future Insights posts together. So I'm going to start here.

I believe marketing is over as we know and knew it.

I've developed a strong opposition to the word marketing. When I hear the word, it brings to mind that we are trying to convince somebody of something. That we need to manufacture something that isn't there.***

It’s only natural. As “marketers” we’ve been trained to think through our personal or company perspective. We are taught to think about “X” strategy and what that means to our brand. Will it help us sell more product to our consumer?

The real question is - what do people think and feel? The people pictured here - the ones enjoying friends, family. Having that feeling of freedom from the week as they bring that first sip of their expensive cocktail to their lips on a Friday night. 

Did they care about our 500 million impressions? Did they really want to share it on Twitter? Do they even remember our marketing existed?

Here are some further things to consider. 

First, people know what marketing is. When we see an advertisement, the subconscious narrative is no longer “oh wow I didn’t realize the functional or emotional benefits of such product” but rather it's “oh look, this company is trying to sell me this product in this cute / funny / serious / emotional way.” We view advertising with the subconscious knowledge that this is meant to convince me of something.

Secondly, people have 100% control over every minute of their day, what they engage with and what they simply ignore. The message is clear - if I don’t want to engage with you, I won’t. And please stop trying - that’s just making it worse.

Thirdly, our competition is no longer limited just to similar products. It is now a competition for finite attention, energy and time in the day. We are competing with Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, for one moment of interest - are you really more compelling?

BUT - this is where the real opportunity is. Brands can play a more important role than ever in people’s lives. 

We are living in a lifestyle age. An age of work to live, not live to work. It's all about maximizing my moments of happiness, joy, delight, ecstasy.

If we give people things that they choose to engage with - if we make their lives better with us than without us - then we become something they want to engage with. That's a whole different ball game.

So we need to stop advertising, marketing, engaging and activating - and we need to start integrating. Give people things they will love. Help them be the person they want to be. Not just our product, but build extensions and experiences that do this while staying true to who we are. Every minute, people are choosing things that make them feel good. Let's be one of them.

Ok, that’s plenty for today. In upcoming weeks, we will go deeper on this.

And for the record, I don’t think advertising or social or any of the other touch points are irrelevant. They are still more important than ever. That’s for another week as well.

Thanks for reading - until next week.

/ Corelli


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***I know this isn’t a universal truth and there are a lot of people doing great marketing out there. But for the general definition and interpretation of something to be effected, it takes severity to shift the idea universally. So I’m going to be diametrically opposed for the purpose of illustration.

Dave Corelli is Chief Strategy Officer of SportBox Group, a global entertainment agency with verticals in strategic consulting, personality representation, and event creation and ownership. Corelli oversees business and creative strategy globally for the agency, its consulting clients, athletes and events. Follow Dave on Twitter and on Medium.