In a sea of marketing technology, a seminal book needs a second read (if you haven’t read it already)…
With marketing automation and bots and virtual reality dominating the marketing and marketing technology headlines today, the collaboratively-written screed titled “Cluetrain Mainfesto: The End of Business As Usual” deserves another read if you haven’t already.
Borne of the email rants of Christopher Locke’s webzine (remember that term?) “Entropy Gradient Reversals” that raged against the strategies corporations and brands were attempting to employ to harness the power of the internet in the late 90’s, the main thesis of the Cluetrain Manifesto was “markets are conversations”, and went into such basic concepts as demonstrating the power of hyperlinks, and the power they had to demolish hierarchy. The mandate delivered to brands was to be human, and therefore interesting. Have brands listened? People want to connect with people, not brands.
But, enabling people to connect with other people connected to your brand is scary, and uncomfortable. Does it “scale” right? Can you meet customer expectations?
You can see brands operate in this uncomfortable space on social media, where teams are pushing the boundaries of how brands are willing to engage with consumers. However, Cluetrain Manifesto even covers the dreaded “intranet”, the corporate whitewashed ideal of what a brand wants the internet to be. Although technologies like Yammer and Chatter have tried to make intranets more conversational, there is a reason HR needs to oftentimes present financial incentives to even get their own employees to contribute to these stagnant platforms.