Friday, May 13, 2005

A Whole New Marketing

I was listening to KUOW on the way back across the 520 bridge the other day. They were talking about a book called A Whole New Mind.

The author said that the people who flourish in the coming years will be those who find a creative, impossible to duplicate approach that can't be outsourced or done by a computer. "Yeah," I thought, "that sounds about right."

When I first started doing marketing writing around Microsoft, it was all about features.

Then we figured out that nobody was really that excited about feature lists, so we started selling solutions.

That was pretty compelling, but after a while people started asking more questions about cost, so we started talking more and more about value.

So what comes after value?

The fist step is "what is the product?", the second is "OK, but what does it do?", the third is "what good is that to me?". The next step is a product that people can believe in. It's about a process that's so customer-centric they feel as though they built the product themselves.

Incidentally, I just exchanged phone calls (after a five year gap) with aguy who helped me break out of my feature-centric shell in terms of writing about products (when I was just a wee little technical writer freshly escaped from grad school). We chatted a bit about marketing at the big corporation where he works and how it's changed since we were working together. Sure enough, the topic of blogs came up. There's something inherently interesting about blogs. It only takes a glance for people to know that this is something useful.


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