I read this post about cluetrain manifesto. The comment by Doc Searls really got me thinking. Do I side with the marketers or the market? Why do I do what I do? What´s my manifesto? Here´s a start to it.
I like marketing that is PULL. I don´t like marketing that is PUSH. Just like people – I prefer the ones that attract me by how they are. I dont like pushy people. True, I´m an introvert, but I think there´s more to it than that.
I believe that MOST money spent on marketing is not only ineffectively used money (it is), but also makes the world a worse place to live in. Not all money spent on marketing, but most of it. There are certain kinds of marketing that I think we all would be better off without.
Outdoor advertising – plant living things instead of polluting the environment with commercial messages. Public services such as toilets etc as carriers of advertisment is a step in the right direction, but I believe it´s better still to just get rid of outdoors advertisement totally. Advertisment in the mailbox. Non-targeted or demographically targeted makes it IRL spam. And since it´s printed on paper it´s even worse than mail spam, since it is killing an awful lot of trees. It´s better to provide information about prices and “commercial opportunities” via the webb. Information in the form ofPress releases. They are NEVER important, that´s why there is no need for them. If you have something important to say, say it and wait for PULL, do not PUSH it in any direction.
Marketing is not an evil thing – bad marketing is
As long as there are products produced for the market there will be a place for marketing. I want marketing, once and for all, to stop beeing pushy. A common mistake that people in the marketing business do is to believe that the marketing needs to be more attractive. I doesn´t. It´s the products that needs to be more attractive. OK, if you are about to tell the world that you have this remarkable product available it´s better to say it in an attractive way than to communicate it in a way that people don´t like. But it´s not the same thing as trying to grab peoples attention by beeing noisy and intrusive to cover up the fact that people don´t care about what you have to sell.
Word-of-mouth is da shit
PRfekt marketing is describing a product that improve peoples lives to the people who´s lives are improved by it in an non-intrusive way. Just like when a friend is giving another friend a tip. Exactly like that, actually – word-of-mouth. People telling each other about remarkable things to make each others lives a little easier, happier or enjoyable. Not to gain profit for themselves in any way.
The principles of the spreading of ideas
That leads to the PRfekt theory about trust and the spread of ideas. At one level every human beeing is nothing more than a meme-machine. We spread ideas between our brains all the time like biological copying machines (memes=that which is copied). Today there is so much information beeing copied in all of our brains thanks to information technology that a lot of people are becoming more and more focused on how to defend themselves from the bombardment. So they trust some people and sources more than others. Thanks to covert marketing such as traditional PR or trying to sneak in commercial messages in activities such as relaxation (e.g. video games) or socializing (Facebook is a form of sponsored party in that sense trying to monetize on peoples social needs).
a) we trust people that think like us (i.e. cognitive similarity or personality type)
I believe that we trust likeminded people the most. People who do not share our personality type, we tend to find strange which leads to all sorts of human dead ends ranging from dis attachment to war. We all want the same thing, but personality makes us choose different roads to it. When you understand that you get able to choose ANY way. And celebrate difference, rather than getting pissed off by it. This is why I believe it is a good thing to AT LEAST understand that there are four well-documented personality types (Keirsey Temperaments) with totally different views on HOW to do the right thing. Or, better still, learn about the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types that affect how we choose to live, work, love and play. Whether your ambition is a desire to RECIEVE or to GIVE – start learning. The PRfekt approach to this is to classify Myers-Briggs types of, for instance, blog texts.
b) we trust people that are succesful (i.e are relaxed and friendly rather than angry or frustrated)
It´s a common mistake to get this one mixed up. It´s easy to believe that trust comes from pretending to be objective or un-biased. That´s why news texts are a genre different from editorials for instance. In western society we tend to strongly value (e.g. by money and status, see (demographics and personality statistics at personalitypage) ) reasoning abilities above ability for empathy and external world above internal world. But that is really a matter of trust according to a) and not success in this respect. Sometimes subjetivity is as trustworthy as objetvitity. Sometimes expressions of emotions creates more trust than emotional detachment. And the other way around. That´s all mostly depending on the prefered mode of communication of the audience and what we´re interested in for the moment (e.g. hearing the opinions of our favourite columnist on a matter or getting information to form our own opinion).
Cool people (and monkeys) are trustworthier than un-cool ones
A well-functioning human beeing, as can be observed among our close relatives the primates, are friendly and relaxed. We smile, relax and enjoy ourselves and others. That way we also communicate trustworthieness. The opposite is true when we are permanent or temporarily psychologically non-adaptive, i.e have a small repertoire of thinking, acting and expressing ourselves. Or beeing generally un-cool in other words. This happens to all of us from time to time (read Naomi L Quenk!) due to internally or externally caused stress. We get tense in our bodies, voices, and bodily expressions. Project onto others (anger, hate, contempt or idolize and romatisize alike) and flicker around. That is both un-cool and makes people not trust us. That´s why it´s actually a strategic mistake to choose polemics before dialogue when trying to convince someone. What you gain in attention is lost in trust.
And I might add c) we don´t trust anyone who try to sell us anything. But everything, if you look at it right, is actually selling something, wether it´s an idea, a product or our selves. It´s more about the TRYING than the actual selling really, but since that is a very zen way of thinking I think I leave that for another post instead…
To sum it all up
So, in order to identify the one that is most likely to influence other people you better take into account both quantity and quality. Some groups of likemindeds are bigger than others. Estimates of the size of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types among the American population can be found at Google Answers. How many people that are psychologically mature (i.e. friendly, relaxed and enjoying themselves) is a question still to be answered. The PRfekt approach to it is to classify the mood of bloggers – I really, really, really look forward to track the mood of the entire blogosphere in real-time!