The old notion is that we as marketers don't really market a product or service to consumers, but rather hope in what that object can do for them – for their lives and everyday existence. You see it in the beauty industry all the time with cellulite lotions and pore-minimising potions that are placebo-licking good.
The other night, I tweeted about how digital innovation in general could be haltered due to too much blinkered thought being focused on Twitter. The hype around Twitter – especially from businesses and marketers – has become almost... well... sad. Sad in the way that we are clinging to the notion that we can make a difference in our consumers' lives, sad in that we are desperate to have a one-on-one connection with them, sad in that we need to believe that our marketing efforts mean something... that they work... that they satisfy a need or want. Twitter provides gratification for this insecurity – when you strip everything back, there's a raw dialogue between provider and consumer, allowing direct feedback, therefore grading marketing efforts if you like.
I recently ran a poll on the site I edit, Marketingmag.com.au, about what is the biggest challenge that marketers face and over a third of responses were to do with measuring ROI. The AMI were actually onto something when they launched the Marketing Value metrics and measurement website last year. I say let's stop focusing on the lure of Twitter, and start focusing on incorporating Twitter elements into all mediums with solid research, measurement and confidence. Then hopefully some of this insecurity about justifying activities will dwindle.
Marketers need to stop pandering about trying to fulfill the wishes of everyone by listening to anyone, and collect the ammunition to make strong marketing decisions themselves.