The era of mass marketing is ending. The promotion of a single product or service to everyone through undifferentiated media reached its peak in the 1960’s and its success convinced most marketers it was the only way. But marketing systems don’t exist in isolation. They are one component in a stew of societal influences and whether or not they work depends on that context. Mass marketing dominated the last century because for most of the last century society was perfectly optimized to enable its success. But the circumstances that enabled mass marketing –limited product choice, clustered consumers, broad media availability but limited choice, and low consumer resistance to advertising–have been replaced by their polar opposites and these new circumstances demand a new approach.
I believe the best way to understand the marketing process, the way messages are sent, received, acted upon, and spread, is to think of it as fire. I explain the process in InMark Media: The Four-Step Strategy to Ignite Customer Evangelists and Keep Them for Life.
InMark Media is a new way to think about marketing—one that acknowledges and accommodates human nature and society’s new realities. But more importantly, it takes the mystery out of word-of-mouth by reducing it to a systematic approach anyone can follow. InMark Media involves four simple steps:
Imagine that you are lost in the freezing wilderness (the marketplace), must start a fire to survive (actual sales of your product or service), and that you have only one match (the finite nature of your marketing resources). You may get only one shot at building your fire. So make it count. There are opportunities for supermarkets.