This is Part 2 - See Part 1 - Exploiting Chaos and Seizing Opportunity.
Part 2 - Seth Godin - Invisible or Remarkable
Last week I had the opportunity to hear Seth Godin at the Communitech Leadership Conference in Waterloo Ontario. His presentation called Invisible or Remarkable focused on the changes happening in our world from the way we interact to how we create wealth.
According to Seth we are living through the Industrial Revolution of our Time and this revolution will dwarf the one experienced by our ancestors in the 1700 and 1800's. Technology and new media provide us all with the tools for being part of this revolution and what's exciting is he invites us all to play an active role in what's coming.
The Old Paradigm - Interruption Marketing
He referred to the old paradigm for marketing as Interruption Marketing where companies found innovative ways to interrupt people with commercials, ads and by getting in their face.
Interruption Marketing was successful but at a cost: average products for average people. If you’re going to be successful and interrupt everyone, you better be average.
The formula for success in the old paradigm: buy ads > distract > sell more > make a profit. (And remember: be average)
This formula has fallen apart recently.
He says there is too much clutter in the old paradigm. Products are branded to death, too costly to promote and it’s getting harder for marketers to break the noise and get through to consumers. In the new paradigm customers don’t want our attention. They are not listening since they have been spammed too many times.
The question: How do you take your business above the noise?
(I like this photo)
The New Paradigm - We are in the business of spreading ideas.
The new paradigm is take something that is good enough and change it so everyone is talking about it. He uses the purple cow as an example and says nobody talks about cows, but if you create a purple cow, everybody starts talking and the spam goes away.
His Advice for Companies
You need to totally embrace new media for your business (by committing resources and time) or stay away from it completely.
Your message is too important to be left to the marketing department.
The race is for permission. The race is for tribes.
Permission Marketing is where you learn to turn strangers into friends and you earn the right to connect. He says Apple has earned this privilege and other companies are learning to do the same.
The revolution as Seth describes is direct communication with people who make and buy your services.
Tribes are everywhere and have been around since the beginning of civilization. They are a natural part of our human desire to connect and can be found within religion, politics, corporations, everywhere... The opportunity is to build and lead tribes. It takes only 10 people to build a tribe and a person can make a great living with a committed tribe of 1000 people.
The Big Shift in Thinking
We are no longer creating Customers for Products but we are now tasked with creating Products for Customers.
Success before Commitment is now Commitment before Success.
The first point says to me that through the structure of technology and new media we now have the ability to hear what our customers want and make products and services specific for them. The second point says we need to take risks, try various approaches and commit until we succeed.
Final Thoughts & Observations
Seth Godin is an excellent presenter who provokes us with images and words to wake up and understand the real story of what’s happening in our world today. His blog is considered the most popular marketing blog in the world and with a little reading you can understand why he has earned that title.
As I personally speak to executives and business owners I am excited by how many are trying to absorb the message of new media and apply the methods to their business. The big questions today: Should I blog? Should I Twitter, use Facebook or YouTube? How do I take my product or service and rise above the noise?
Traditional business structures are changing. Marketing, PR, Sales, Product Development and overall organizational strategy are going through fundamental shifts. The next few years will require a leadership, fresh ideas and the courage to look at business in a new way.
The Industrial Revolution of our time is the Internet, new media and the infrastructure that technology provides. Adapting and thriving in this new paradigm will be our task.