The funnel concept in sales and marketing has been around for a long time. The top of every funnel represents the “total market” a business is trying to reach. Traditional marketing campaigns have aimed at awareness of a value proposition to a specific market.
The theory has been that if I can create awareness of a product/service then you will attract “interest” to your business then it is a game of task and tactics aimed at converting interest into a sale.
The sales and marketing profession has historically leveraged “media” to raise awareness aimed at attracting interest. Using the tricks of their trade we’ve witnessed everything from slick ads aiming for our attention to marketing material promising a product or service that performs beyond our expectations. The old theory of “get peoples attention” then catch them with a trick so we can sell them our product/service was fueled by corporate america’s demand for results regardless of the methods. Over the last ten years we’ve witnessed ads that push the fringes of decency and marketing messages that have become tricks which disappoints peoples expected experience with product/service performance.
Products & Services As Commodities
Any product or service which does not satisfy the buyers expectations becomes a commodity with little differential in the buyers mind accept price. Corporate America has shot themselves in the foot as a result of slick marketing and advertising. Hyped up messages focused on getting attention cannot satisfy the thirst for quality product or service experiences. As a result of over promising and under delivering many markets have quickly become price driven, a commodity. In a commodity market the only differential that changes the market is price. The experience becomes irrelevant since all experiences from the bulk of the suppliers is the same, terrible.
Are Conversations Commodities?
History has shown us that whenever a product/service becomes a commodity the suppliers have to reduce cost and increase volume in order to remain profitable, that is as long as there is a market of buyers. In a market driven by price their is little need to converse with the market, no one cares to have a conversation. That is unless the market of buyers organize and funnel their conversations about the product or service poor quality. Sharing, connecting and organizing around poor experiences can erode any market even those only driven by price.
Conversation have become commodities but the results of conversations have become the differential. Anyone can “join in the conversation” at a price of zero. Conversational influence has become the market differential that is changing how markets perform. The initial change in market performance is the reshaping of the advertising and marketing methods, models and metrics. It doesn’t matter if your product or service is price driven or quality driven, the experience is the new market maker and breaker.
The next phase of transformation fueled by conversations will be anything and everything which influences people experience. Not confined to advertising and marketing the conversational influences flow up, down, sideways and inside out. Conversations have been and always will be the power that starts with a few which ignites the many to share their experiences with your business, your people and your customers.
Whether you improve the experience or not it will be part of the conversations. Which experience would you rather the market be discussing, the good ones or the bad ones? The choice is yours but it takes time and courage to make the necessary changes. Do you know what needs to change and how?
What say you?