Seth Godin has an excellent post that sums up exactly why marketing and branding is still so crucial in our post-mass-media marketplace:
You’re busy trying to sell a service or a product or an idea to lazy people in a hurry.
Lazy, as in not willing to do the work to create long term benefits. Lazy as in not willing to read the instructions, follow the manual, do all the steps, invest the time in the research. Lazy as in willing to buy the first choice that’s ‘good enough’ as opposed to finding the best choice. These are people who will spend five minutes to find a parking space one minute closer to the mall.
And in a hurry.
In a hurry because they jump to conclusions, don’t read to the end, and most of all, most of the time, search for a shortcut.
In other words, you’ve only got a microsecond to converse with people before they move on. If you aren’t spot-on with a compelling presentation that they value in their world, on their terms, *click*, next page.
Being spot on, making that microsecond count, and delivering a product, a message, and an experience that connects with what that individual really needs… that‘s marketing. That‘s branding. You don’t have time for one-on-one sales. If you miss the moment, people move on to the next item on the list. And you certainly don’t have time for tech-heavy feature-itis. People want to know “What’s in it for me, right now?”
In a disintermediating world, marketing means discovering and executing on the most effective and efficient ways to deliver real value to people. And it’s no longer about press releases and super bowl commercials. It is about conversations, respect, and integrity.