July 06, 2011

The Absurdist Movement In Modern Marketing

It is hard to exaggerate the lengths to which  contemporary "experts" have gone to complicate the shit out of marketing.

You have only to go to a marketing conference to find yourself face to face with some kind of cockamamie diagram loaded with lines and arrows and buckets and silos that purports to visually demonstrate something terribly insightful about marketing.

Last week I came upon a doozy. This monstrosity was created at Forrester's recent "Customer Experience Forum" and is supposed to illustrate "The Customer Experience Ecosystem" as described by the event's keynote speaker.

Now, I think it goes without saying that any presentation with "ecosystem" in its title is likely to be a  seven-course bullshit banquet. But this gem has something about it that transcends your typical business wank-o-graph. Take a look at it and see if you can identify what makes this baby even more absurd than your average Rube Goldberg marketing diagram (if you're having trouble reading it, click on it and it will grow.)
At first glance, it's really no more silly than most consultants' "visualizations." It has the obligatory "touch points" and the above-mentioned ecosystems. Then, of course, you need to "map" the ecosystem and "socialize" the ecosystem. And when you're done with that you need to "nurture" the ecosystem. I'll get right on that. Of course there's a lot of prioritizing and prototyping going on as well.

But there's one exquisite little thing missing from this "Customer Experience Ecosystem." One little thing that some people might think is important. One little thing that might actually make an impact on an actual customer's actual experience.

It's the f*cking product!

Apparently, these days, a "Customer Experience Ecosystem" has nothing at all to do with the product or service. It's all 5-step processes and co-creations and touchpoints.

It occurs to me that we have reached a new level of absurdist marketing when an 'expert' is so profoundly confused she can't be bothered to include the product in the customer experience.

Thanks to Frank Johnson for this.

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