It has become glaringly obvious over the past few months that people do NOT want to be marketed to. They hate it. They call it SPAM.
SPAM is defined by Wikipedia as "the use of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately." And those who create this electronic spam is defined as a spammer.
But today, consumers define any advertisement that doesn't openly declare itself as such as spam. And the same goes for marketers and advertisers. Just think of all the examples of people angered and upset over marketing, advertising, and hidden promotions lately:
- Tweets from people you don't follow on Twitter
- changes to Facebook to improve profitability
- ads on Hulu despite it being a paid service
- ads in iOS apps on your iPhone and iPad
- Season 5 of Mad Men cutting two minutes out of each episode to make room for more commercials
Marketers must now be thought leaders, advocates, and gurus in their industry. They must have interesting insights. They must be informative and enlightening. If marketers want to be persuasive, they must be people -- not products.