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March 20, 2006

Meaningful Marketing in Business Jurassic Jargon

I was called out by Tom Dixon for using fluent jargon in my meaningful marketing riff. Tom, who is seemingly blogless, makes a valid point. But at least the Marketing 2.0 jargon I used is easier to understand than this Business Jurassic 1.0a jargon-rich translation:

Meaningful marketing is about delivering impactful strategic multi-dimensional, best-in-class customer-focused marketing initiatives to deliver against the holistic mission of the enterprise all the while synergistically aligning with the brand’s signature DNA. It’s about capitalizing, in full totality, on consumers as being stakeholders in the monetization of the enterprise. It’s about expertly exploiting consumer mindshare opportunities; it’s about empowering consumers with value-add proprietary propositions; and it’s about maximizing results-driven customer relationship management infrastructure to elicit a seamless sustainable revenue competitive advantage.

For conversation purposes [Doh! … “conversation” is a Marketing 2.0 jargon-ish word -- sorry Tom] … below is my original definition for meaningful marketing which Tom Dixon called me out for.
Meaningful marketing is about designing marketing activities to deliver on the vision of the business all the while being smart, savvy, and authentic. It’s about treating consumers as being everyday explorers who seek to be interesting and interested. It’s about building preference more than awareness; going beyond capturing attention to soliciting intention; and it’s about fostering loyalty beyond reason from customers.


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» Can Marketing Be Meaningful? from Servant of Chaos
One of the problems of working in marketing or communications is that the words we use easily become part of the industry jargon. And the more we use such words, the faster they become laden with industry meaning. And as [Read More]


Are you serious? :D

Sure I'm serious. The Business Jurassic translation is ridiculous. Downright offensive to me. I'm just a tad testy tonight so I had to stoke the meaningful marketing fire by reacting to Tom's comment.

Reminds me of when attornies were paid by the word ;-) (which is why we're now stuck with all that godawful jargon - when it really isn't necessary.

Same goes for Jurassic marketing prose. I know big words too but I'd rather engage in a conversation,as it frees my translation synapses to actually think and engage versus "deep reading." And, gee, people might actually read what I write!

How about: Meaningful marketing is about understanding the consumer so well that you can give them what they want/need before they realize that they want/need it.

I agree with Mary, I'm not smart enough to use/understand big words ;)

Mack ... go with what works for you. If you wanna use Business Jurassic terminology, great. If you wanna use chewy, but easier to understand marketing-related terms, cool. Or if you wanna use one sentence to umbrella your take on meaningful marketing ... even better.

My whole point in sharing how I can better understand meaningful marketing is that it has been inluenced by smart thinking from others. My understanding is not going to work across the board for everyone and every marketer. But it does work for this one marketer. And it might inspire others to better form their take on what meaningful marketing is.

By no means do I profess to, nor attempt to define meaningful marketing for everyone. That's impossible. I'm just sharing what works for me and that might work "as is" for you or it might work to help you better define in your own terms.

"By no means do I profess to, nor attempt to define meaningful marketing for everyone. That's impossible. I'm just sharing what works for me and that might work "as is" for you or it might work to help you better define in your own terms."

Sorry John I didn't mean to seem like I was trying to 'one-up' you, I was looking at the post as a way for us to each share our version of 'meaningful marketing', and learn from the examples given.

At least that's what I was hoping to do, us non-smart people gotta take what we can get ;)

My version. Which is, of course, both meaningful and ultimately wise. And right. And good. Ahem...

Meaningful marketing reduces friction and/or adds joy to an economic process.

That's it. All good, meaningful marketing activities can be boiled down (in my mad, little world) to:

1. Making a transaction; easier, faster, less expensive, more inclusive, less troublesome, more profitable, more findable -- ie., less frictive.

2. Making a transaction more fun

Give me an example that doesn't fit one of those two bullet points and I'll eat my my own cooking.

Advertising? Well, if people don't know about your product, they can't buy it. That's a lotta friction. Total friction, I'd call it. Good advertising removes that initial barrier and, if done well, can add joy.

Word-of-mouth? Same as above, but with the added benefit of removing the "distrust of corporate schlock" element of friction.

Good merchandising? Package design? Retail presence? It all puts the best match between customer and product in a straighter line. Less friction.

As marketers, we should always ask: "Does this current effort reduce the cludge, crud, gunk, shmutz, etc. that stands between my excellent stuff and my aweseome customers?" If it does... it's meaningful. Because the laws of physics as applied to business -- moving product out of your shop and money in -- are where you define "meaning."

You can add friction. You can make people wait in lines, write dumb manuals, have hard-to-understand taglines, screw around with your retail design every fortnight, have adverising that doesn't brand-up with your merchandisng, write ads that insult their intelligence and cater to customers that aren't matched up with your products. But you best be prepared to add a ton of joy to offset that friction.

And joy, just so we're clear, is measured in either dollars or dimples. People will put up with high-friction for either low cost (you give them joy in terms of money), or big smiles; i.e., super-duper brand experience, service and product quality.

But if what you're doing isn't making things slicker, quicker or happier... it ain't meaningful.

Credit to you John not only for translating the "Jurassic" paragraph, but for actually reading it to completion. I bailed 1/2 way through, which, I am sure, is the very reason why such language is (hopefully) soon to be extinct.

Nice thoughts John, Mack and Andy.

Andy, the rub with friction (pun intended) is that in order to remove it for our customers, we have to go through A LOT of it ourselves. Marketers become agents of change in their organizations in order to pioneer the path for the customer.

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