Marketing Manifestos

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I like Change This. The whole idea of a place where you can find some communal inspiration and “call to arms” on doing things differently is cool. The manifestos there run the gambit from environmentalism to marriage to Ben and Jerry’s. I took a quick cruise through “manifestos” about marketing. Below is a sampling:

Marketers of the world unite, you have nothing to loose but your production budget.

  • The Customer Evangelist Manifesto by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba. There is a lot I love about this one that resonnates with a bunch of stuff we’ve been thinking about lately: marketing is not advertising, it is not budgets; word of mouth is key – but it comes not from stunts but from doing a great job; new customer acquisition may be sexy, but in the long term keeping and energizing existing is more profitable; and getting people (inside and outside the company) excited requires having a real cause (VISION is a big deal)
  • Does ANYONE know how to Market? (and will anyone care?) By Chris Houchens. Given that we wrote a book, I was at first a bit uncomfortable with his call to “Find all the marketing business books you can. Throw them out. Rinse. Repeat.” But I really agree that a lot of what you read is just extra noise and agree with Chris’ emphasis that good marketing comes from YOU and that no one cares about marketing – they care about their lives (some ads feel like the only benefit is the entertainment value of the ad itself). Seperately read his recent blog entry on how bad marketing by committee ends up being (I know I’ve done it).
  • Is the Truth the Next Big Truth? By Simon King and Piers Fawkes. Although, Thomas Jefferson once said, “The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper” it seems that marketing lately has lost the whole idea of focusing on the reality of what you have to offer. So this manifesto is quite provokotive. It focuses on three truths: 1) business operations truth – exposing people to the wheels and gears of your business machine can have real benefits – see what Progressive insurance has done as an example; 2) brand history truth – all rather than denying your legasy both good and bad, acknowledge it first before trying to persuade, look at Microsoft’s Dinosaur Puppets and Your Potential… vs. security concerns and trust concerns (conversely consider the fantastic impact of Scoble being open about Microsoft’s issues and its competition); and 3) Yoga truth – pretty out there but I guess purity is good
  • What is Open Source Marketing? By James Cherkoff. Some additional great thoughts about how real openness and interactivity and participation of customers can have huge power. See also his very goodblog.
  • Effective Product Managers Know Their Market By Steve JohnsonBarbara Nelson. Some very good tips for marketing folks to cut through all the “market research” mumbo jumbo and reach out deeply learn who their customer is.
  • Do Less by the one and only Seth Godin. We couldn’t agree more with his points that focus wins and tighter teams do more.
  • LESS by Bruce Kasanoff. Makes a lot of sense to remove objectionable and meaningless obstacles from your customers path – true in product, in messaging, etc. Just look at Apple. I really like the idea of filling in this blank of what your customer might say: I want less __________.
  • Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson. A list of more or less crazy things you should look through to try breaking through directly to customers; and of course…
  • The Hughtrain, by Hugh MacLeod. Just love the way this guy thinks. You have to look at Gaping Void. Believe in what in what you are selling. Sell that belief. Products are conversations. A brand is a place, not a thing. Write (copy) like you mean the words (see above that truth might be a good thing). And a bunch of good advice about what kind of job to have. It’s up to you. Be Nice. Be Honest. Listen. HERE HERE!

Other Marketing Manifestos not on Change This include: