by: Alain Thys

I don't know about you, but for years now I've had the feeling there's something wrong in the land of marketing.  After all, we all read that the world has changed. That media consumption has changed.  Consumer behaviour has evolved.  That brands aren't trusted.  That mass media are dead. 

But at the same time the basic principles of marketing as I learned them in business school have remained the same.  While the media have changed, the majority of marketing initiatives are still about "shouting and selling" rather than actually engaging with a customer and gaining his respect.

I believe this has to stop and that is why – today – in Helsinki I gave a presentation which called upon the marketers in the room to stop the madness. 

To stop talking about what the brand wanted to say, and start focusing on what we, the customers wanted to hear.  To stop shouting at us, and start engaging us.  To start building a lifelong reputation, instead of trying to be a “one night brand” merely focused on quarterly campaigns.  In short, to help start a revolution that would change the essence of marketing itself.

The experience was unnerving.  After all,  it was the first time I have ever been that explicit.  Calling for a revolution is something you don’t do every day.  And in a country as advanced as Finland, there is of course the chance that no one would rise to the occasion.

But they did.  In fact, many people came up to me with the message that I was articulating what they were thinking.  Others also came up with suggestions on how to make the presentation better.  Areas I had missed and that could be included.

So with the Finnish digital marketing world on my side, I’ve decided it is now time to challenge the world.  Or better, I should say “we”, because my business partner Stefan Kolle has been at the heart of the new marketing model we propose in the presentation below.  A marketing reality which lets go of the “product push” mentality, and focuses on relevance, engagement and reputation.

About the presentation

This presentation offers a digital perspective on life, as the audience at the event (Twitter: #Fword) was active in digital. But our view is larger than that.  That is why we will be applying the concept of  relevance, engagement and reputation to every aspect of the marketing mix.  From ROI to innovation.  From television to Twitter.

It also is an “open source project”.  Even though at Futurelab we can consider ourselves a bit ahead of the curve, reality is that we don’t know every detail on how the future of marketing will look either.  But we do believe that if we all work together, we can work it out.  So I would like to call on you to contribute.  We will shortly be launching a Ning community where all fellow revolutionaries can unite and discuss.  But until then I suggest you use the comment section below.

Because as the man said: Change Marketing.  Yes, We Can.

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