Tuesday, August 14, 2012

BIG’s Blog: What Don’t You Know?

In my case, there are thousands… no, millions… of things I don’t know. Just start with an emotional understanding of those closest to you… your spouse, your kids, and your friends.  Now move further outside that close-in circle to acquaintances. We really know even less. And we haven’t even touched on general knowledge.

So why would you … or I… think we could presume to know and understand (two very different things) all there is to know about the new communications world that is building around us?

Part of communications is marketing… right? Well, marketing as we have known it all our lives is essentially dead. Maybe I should say it’s dying rather than dead, but when the decline reaches a certain point, it’s really dead for all practical purposes.

Just two examples…

Vertical versus Horizontal marketing

Vertical marketing (broad-based media): All our lives we have practiced vertical marketing. Starting at the top, it is our plan, our money, and we are in control. It may not work, but we are still in control of the timing and the message.

Horizontal marketing (Internet-based): You create a marvelous story or product and set it up to spread person to person. Unlike Vertical marketing, where paid agents (TV, magazines or direct mail) carry your message, in Horizontal marketing unpaid but passionate agents spread your message. The tough part is you are not in control.

Interactions versus Transactions

This is really important for fundraisers.

Interactions: People become fans or friends long before they ever become donors or supporters. In fact, they may never become donors. Interactions are the first crucial step in building a relationship in this new process.

Transactions: People either donate or they don’t. Black and white. Do you have a relationship with them? Don’t know, but if they donate again… maybe.

The problem is it’s really not an “either/or” world anymore. The Internet changed everything. Broad-based media, including direct mail, is in severe decline, hence Horizontal marketing is your only future and the same with Interactions vs. Transactions. The decline in the effectiveness of direct mail means you need to know about and understand Horizontal marketing and Interactions.

You don’t know… what you don’t know. And that’s not a bad thing necessarily – unless it’s your job.


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