Several weeks back we started a book club at Bailey Gardiner. No, we’re not looking to take Oprah’s place after her final season, but as an agency we like to stay on top of what’s going on in the world of marketing, advertising, PR and Social Media. That’s a lot for one person to do and since there are a lot of great reads out there, divide and share is what we are doing!
The Next Evolution of Marketing by Bob Gilbreath was the book I had the pleasure of reading. Bob Gilbreath is the Chief Marketing Strategist at Bridge Worldwide and has a extensive history in marketing on both the agency and client side. His book is broken into two basic sections with the first explaining what meaningful marketing is and the second sharing steps on how to create it. What is meaningful marketing you ask?
There are two traits of marketing with meaning:
1. It’s marketing that people choose to engage with. It involves creating something that people find is worthy of their time and attention, rather than continuing to look for ways to cleverly (or not so cleverly) interrupt them.
2. It’s marketing that itself improves people’s lives. Many marketers go to bed at night proud to support products and services that add value. Indeed, they may remove tough stains, put a smile on faces, or enable priceless purchases but we too often utilize the old interruption approach to present these products and services to out customers. Instead, we must create advertising that actually adds value, without necessarily forcing a sale.
The Hierarchy of Meaningful Marketing:
One of the parts in this book that resonated with me most, and brought me back to my high school days, was the Hierarchy of Meaningful Marketing and the connection Gilbreath bridged to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Solution Marketing: Like the lower levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, solution marketing covers basic household needs and benefits, for example, helpful offers, money savings and hard rewards for purchase.
Connection Marketing: This represents a significant step toward building a bonding relationship between people and brands. It matches closely with Maslow’s love/belonging category, providing benefits beyond the basics of information and relevance to include something that is of deeper importance in the consumer’s mind, i.e., social outlets and creative expression.
Achievement Marketing: This corresponds to Maslow’s pinnacle of self-actualization by allowing people to significantly improve their lives, realize a dream, or positively change their community and their world.
Putting It Into Action:
There are four steps outlined in The Next Evolution of Marketing to guide you to creating that meaningful message. They really aren’t much different than most of us in marketing & advertising use, but they do emphasize the meaningful aspect of those steps.
1. Establish business objectives: What do you hope to accomplish?
2. Gather relevant consumer insights: Discover what keeps people up at night and gets them out of bed in the morning.
3. Develop and launch the marketing plan: Ideate, Rank & Liftoff.
This book really is a great read and succeeds in challenging marketers, at least this one, to remember that caring about who you are talking to is the best way to get them to listen. And thus be successful in your objectives.
What do you think? Is having a meaningful message important in marketing?