marketing manipulationFrom creativity and enabling technology, we’ve come up with all sorts of tricks and tools to perpetuate a marketing manipulation madness (MMM) that no longer works. In our quest for attention and immediate gratification, there’s a trail of junk littering the Information Superhighway:

  • Pop-up ads hoping to get us to hand over our money.
  • Ill-timed or irrelevant offers in our e-mail or on websites that distract us from quickly finding what we need.
  • Complicated user interfaces and commerce platforms that serve the vendor need to sell but not the buyer need to buy what we need.

This constant commotion is fatiguing to most of us and makes it exceedingly hard to separate a compelling but empty promise (“I made $1000 yesterday from XXX affiliate marketing”) from a sustainable (but hard-to-communicate with sound-bytes) value proposition.

Bottom line is that we’ve created a manipulation marketing model where the near-term needs of a company — particularly executive management’s ability to pacify shareholders — trumps whoever is on the receiving end of our me-me madness. Social media tools and channels that were intended to change the engagement model — to give customers what they want where, when and how they want it — are being misused as promotional levers.

Over the past few years, those of us in Marketing Operations (MO) have tried to help our companies break this madness cycle — to be more disciplined, more accountable, more customer centric, to truly live, not just talk, the brand. Sadly, MO is still being treated by most companies as a dumping ground for orphaned projects, as a tactical enabler, as a service organization cranking out volumes of campaigns and content to satisfy quantity-based measurement objectives that no longer apply.

Our ability to truly root out and replace the old MMM model, and all its manifestations, will only come when Marketing Operations is embraced as a strategic enabler at the C-level. That’s when MO 2.0 will become more than a partially-realized vision – it will change the MO of Marketing by providing a holistic, integrating force for cross-functional (-organizational, -industry) alignment for badly-needed change in enterprise, industry and the marketing profession.

If you’re a Marketing Operations leader – whether enterprise, solution provider or services company or individual — speak up and join us in this cause. And stay tuned. Both Marketing Operations Partners and the industry group we founded, the ClearAction Value Exchange, will be leading-industry-changing initiatives in the months ahead to burst the bubble of marketing manipulation madness. We welcome anyone with a similar vision and passion to get involved.