There are currently 2 types of dumbass marketing people in the world.
First is the type that thinks things will never change. These are characterized by the folks at McDonald's who think they can continue to sell their dreadful hamburgers for the rest of eternity. They think they have a marketing problem and if they just torture their agencies a little and have conversations with consumers they can get the problem fixed without having to actually do anything.
Second is the type that thinks everything is changing. They go around spouting all the insufferable new-age marketing cliches about everything being either dead or dying.
Both of these types don't get it.
First, things are always changing. Nothing in business, or in any other human endeavor, stays the same very long. Change can happen invisibly. Ask a bald guy. You don't notice when one hair falls out. But then one day you wake up and you look like me.
Conversely, not every change "changes everything" like the marketing hysterics would have you believe.
The sign of the amateur marketer is his inclination to be either complacent about change or hysterical about it. Change is nothing new. It is always with us and has always been with us.
These days it seems like hysteria about change is the prevailing mode. The people who perpetrate this nonsense are all over the web, all over marketing conferences, and all over the best-seller list.
The only thing they know is what is right in front of them. They think that everything that is happening now is seismic, and everything that happened before is inconsequential. There is a name for people like this -- fucking idiots.
The number of hysterical articles, conferences, books, and talks about how "everything is changing" and if you don't immediately adopt their newest technology or philosophy or methodology you will be left behind is absolutely oppressive.
In fact, consumers have shown a surprising attachment to traditional purchasing behavior in light of a revolution in technology, communication, and media.
- People are 15 times as likely to buy something in a store than online.
- People are 99 times as likely to buy something in a store than with a cell phone.
- People watch 20 times more video on their TV than on their computer
- People spend twice as much time listening to their radio than going online on their computer.
But if there's an untold story of the digital age, it is the degree to which perspective-free marketers have overestimated peoples' appetite for behavioral change, and underestimated peoples' attachment to traditional consumer behavior.