December 14, 2009

The High Tech Marketing Bible

Every time I re-read the marketing classic, Marketing High Technology, from William Davidow, I’m reminded how the more things change, the more they stay the same.

If you’ve never read this book, you are really missing out. If you have read it, go back and read it again. Sure, the product examples now seem out-of-date. And there’s nothing directly about e-marketing practices.

But that is what makes it so great. You can forget the technology and focus on what marketing is really all about:
“Marketing must invent complete products and drive them to commanding positions in defensible market segments.”
From strategy to good customer service, from working with sales to value pricing, this book covers it all. Here’s another great observation, from Chapter 11, “Do You Have Marketing?”:
“Companies can finance a lot of marketing activity and still not have marketing programs.”
Which brings up the second point—the more things change, the more they stay the same. Many books on marketing 2.0, the new marketing and so on like to hype up the fact that everything is different now. Forget everything you knew about marketing. The rules have changed. Have they?

In my opinion, digital marketing, social media marketing, e-marketing are less a complete change and more the results of the same types of change that technology developments always engender. That is, technology changes the economics—the relationship between cost, speed and reach—of marketing. But none of this really changes the principles of marketing. The “digital marketing” goals of web pages, social media, and e-mail marketing are the same as those of “old marketing.” And they’ll be the same for the next technology enabled innovation.

Of course, from Fan pages to Tweets, there are best practices and things that don’t work. There are amazing success stories and there’s a (big) Wall of Shame. But that has always been true. In the end, it’s creating loyal communities and getting the message out and driving your brand or product or service to a commanding position in a defensible segment.

As a good exercise, read the book and see for yourself how the “old marketing” principles still apply. You’re digital marketing programs will be better off for the effort.

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