The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Time to move on from military marketing
 
Katy Lindemann, Senior Strategist, Naked Communications
 
Katy Lindemann

It's interesting, isn't it, that the holy grail for marketers is engagement - to build meaningful relationships between people and our brands. And yet the way we think about marketing is frequently diametrically opposed to the desired end result.

The vocabulary of marketing is largely one of warfare - with the consumer as enemy combatant, on the receiving end of our merciless attacks. The etymology of the word 'strategy' is military - literally meaning 'the art of a general'. And it's just as applicable to the world of marketing as it is to the battlefield.

Think about it. How many times do we start by referring to the 'target' when considering audiences? (The fact that we talk about 'consumers' rather than simply 'people' is another strange beast, as it automatically frames people purely within the context of consumption rather than as the multifaceted human animals that we are, but that's a whole other issue). So we launch aggressive campaigns carefully designed for maximum impact and to gain captive audiences, thinking about strikeweights and guerilla tactics to do battle, gain market dominance and kill the competition.

Hardly the language of fostering engagement and relationship building, is it?

We all know by now that people aren't receptacles waiting eagerly for our advertising messages, and very often could quite happily live without whatever we're trying to sell - but surely trying to conquer the enemy and beat them into submission isn't the most effective solution? Isn't trying to earn the right for our brands to be a part of people's world, rather than trying to force our way in, ultimately going to be more valuable in the longer term?

We'd probably all agree that this is what we're trying to do, and that a relationship based on permission and trust is far more desirable than one of force and conquest - and yet the language of marketing doesn't appear to have caught up.

The vocabulary we use undoubtedly affects the way we approach things - both consciously and subconsciously. So if we want to actually develop marketing that's based on marketing with people rather than to them, awareness of the language we use, and a concerted effort to move away from thinking about marketing as warfare, has got to be a move in the right direction.



Subjects: Consumers, Marketing

18 January 2010 16:28
 

There are 0 comments on this blog

(Want to have your say? Add your Comment)

Comments IconAdd your comment here:
Email :  
Forename :  
Surname :  
RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
   
Toolbar's wrapper 
 
Content area wrapper
RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
  
RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.
   
 

Blog Search

Archives

  • 2014
    • October (23)
    • September (19)
    • August (18)
    • July (25)
    • June (22)
    • May (23)
    • April (20)
    • March (14)
    • February (10)
    • January (5)
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010