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Disruptive Marketing: …Navigating the New Normal

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Frequent readers will know I like to emphasize the human element of processes and systems. Geoffrey Colon’s book Disruptive Marketing – What Growth Hackers, Data Punks, and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teac Us About Navigating the New Normal. That title was the only thing I didn’t like about the book.  Almost immediately, this book started triggering ideas in my mind for ways to improve the customer experience. I’m hooked on any book that instantly provides me with new ways to approach topics.

One big take away for me was a reminder that two-thirds of people’s screen time is spent with digital media. This is websites, social platforms, videos, etc. TV has taken a backseat to the mobile phone.  A big smack to the face was pointing out that most companies are significantly under invested in mobile advertising. I also learned a new word. Netnography which is the study of human behavior on the internet.

For me, Geoffrey’s approach made perfect sense. I enjoyed confirmation that methodologies I’ve been using and recommending are valid and revenue generating. He also reaffirms the consumer driven approach. Create content that makes people feel good. Let’s the consumer advertise for you. Ensure the consumer knows you appreciate them, that you are listening, and that you empathize with them. Additionally, be creative instead of stiff. Use free sources of content. Tell compelling stories. Social sells. Most importantly, know where your customers are on these different media systems.

I also loved his section on being a life-long learner.  As one, I enjoyed being reminded of the Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn mantra from the 1970’s book Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. I am glad he pointed this out.  People forget how fast things change.  The platforms, services, and methodologies we use change faster these days than ever before.  A person could get buried in the plethora of social media management tools. Trying to make sense of all the analytics data from Google is overwhelming to newbies.

Lastly, I appreciate Geoffrey’s recommendation to be a mix of artist and data analytics.  In a time where volume of education is a measure of capability (it isn’t), it is good to know being a hybrid thinker has a place to excel. It is also a sign of the future.  Marketing is no longer about glad-handing and dusting the isle end cap, one has to have the eye for design and the mind for data analytics. While the consumer is human, the behaviors that drive them will all come in the forms of various data. Disruptive marketing is all about being able to process both.


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