Godin is Wrong...Targeting isn't dead

Ok, so my marketing hero isn't 100% wrong about "interruption marketing" but he's a bit wrong.

When we heard him last month at the University of Maryland, he told us about the megaphone concept of "flipping the funnel." 

Give your best customers a chance to promote your product/services and don't interrupt them with unwanted messages.

Seth prefers "Nurturing" over "Targeting" and I'm with him..to an extent, but I think there's still a place for direct to consumer marketing even without (gasp) initial permission.

Here's how I know...

  1. This morning on our partner marketing community call, we listened to Hans Keller, CIO of the National Aquarium in Baltimore, who said, "if you've got something you think I'll be interested, give me a call....I'll give you 30 seconds."

    In other words, there is value to the old-school cold-call. 

  2. Plus, we've got 1000 customers in the "funnel" from the first 6 months of the year who we interrupted to attend our events and are now interested in making a purchase.

Now, that doesn't change the fact that we may have 90% of the people we called and that isn't acceptable at all.

But I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Seth is, of course, correct on many fronts.

  • It's way too expensive to "carpet bomb" everybody. 
  • Most people don't want to hear from us.
  • It's not ok to piss off 90% of your customers and prospects (or more) just to get the others to say yes
  • We need to do a much better job of giving the platform to our customers to spread the word.
    (That's what we did this morning with Hans and  what I am going to do with the customer I met at the NMR event. )

The question then is...how can we refine our outbound marketing efforts so that we are only calling the people who actually want to hear from us?

Microsoft must get away from the "more is more" mentality and go with a "less is more."

Identify-using predictive analytics, firmographics, and other customers as megaphones- the right customers and then reach out to them.

And when we do, we will make a personal, relevant offer, even though it may not be anticipated (so, we get 2 of the Godin big 3; see Seth's philosophy here)

Ideally...you want to do a roundtable discussion of 10 customers who are concerned about security. Make 10 calls and get 10 yeses. No more, no less.

We're not there yet (but that's where we are headed), but I think all of the data out there can give us some clues.

Combine that with the megaphone and you get a nice hybrid potentially. It's probably 90-10 (megaphone-traditional marketing)