The trouble with marketing in America, argues marketing strategist and author Al Ries, is that everyone thinks they can do it. The implication is that a marketing VP might make it to the boardroom, but they don't command the same respect as the CIO, CFO or COO.
Imogen Boas, Editor of IDG's IT Marketer, caught up with Al Ries during a recent trip to Sydney. It's a fantastic interview full of very quotable quotes.
Read the article here if you are an ITM subscriber (you obviously need to be a marketer to qualify). If not, here's a filtered view, as it were:
Online [marketing] works best when the message is already accepted by the user. When you are reinforcing and reconfirming an existing message. The thing that doesn’t work online is a message that tries to change the mind of the user. The problem with the Internet is that the user is in control. They can turn off the message. Why would you pay attention to something you disagree with?
Do you think IT advertising is getting better as compared to say general consumer?
No, not really. It’s all too complicated. Companies do not take the time to think through how to say things in the simplest possible way. I subscribe to lots of IT magazines and I can never figure out what the advertisers are selling. It’s almost as if they have decided that they have to make this as complicated as possible and yet ironically often the goal of computerising something is to simplify it.
As someone once said to me ‘only Microsoft could decide that it makes sense for you to have to hit the start button to turn your PC off’.
There is a paradigm in high tech industry today, an incredible paradigm. This paradigm says convergence - everything is coming together. The cell phone is coming together with the PDA and we are going to have Internet access on our cell phones. Television is coming together with the computer and at home everything is coming together in a media centre.
I am not convinced at all by this rush towards convergence. In our book we look at how opportunities actually come from divergence. We look at Charles Darwin’s brilliant deduction that new species arise from the divergence of existing species and we see how we can apply this to branding.