The Aqua Teen guerrilla marketing Boston story has really worked its way throughout the blogosphere. In my dictionary, the term guerrilla is a word too colored by stealth and possibly intrusive connotations to define a way to implement a message that can hold lasting qualities. I understand the genesis of this word, yet until we begin using better language, we may not begin changing the way we do things.
The news was spread by CK, Stephen Denny, Matt Dickman, Seth Godin, and Lewis Green -- at least among the blogs I read more frequently -- and received ample commentary at those posts. What I'm interested in considering here is a different way of putting substance back into marketing to regain that human face it seems to have lost in the haste of interrupting our lives.
A few years ago I was on my way to doing something else while the TV, on a rare occasion it was on, broadcast a PBS program. "The ancestor to every action is a thought," said Dr. Wayne Dyer, and that's when I stopped what I was doing and sat in front of the screen.
Wouldn't it be interesting if instead of being an imposition on our lives, the marketing messages we receive every day were more aligned with being an inspiration? What would that look like? [The expression in bold type is Dr. Dyer's]
- Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing -- creativity is a noble pursuit, I'm in favor. In fact, I do hope we continue to find more creative ways to build dialogues with our customers. As we do that, we shouldn't be afraid to test our ideas through the common sense lens -- are there any possible unintended consequences to my actions?
- You can't give away what you don't have -- you need to start with a great product and service. That is your focus and primary responsibility. If you don't have that, you cannot create magic just by using the words and hope nobody will search beyond them.
- There are no justified resentments -- the reason your customers or prospects aren't buying may be that you have not constructed enough interaction in the conversation. What are the ways in which you can build trust and rapport so that *they* can invite you into their lives? Don't shoot them, think what you can do first.
- Don't die with your music in you -- unleash your spirit, breathe life into what you do. All that pent up passion for your work is doing you and us no good if you keep it bottled inside. Spread the love, take some risks, be expansive in your thinking, liberate your inner Italian!
- Embrace your silence -- this is a part that many creatives and experience designers get; it's important to recharge your batteries. As you do that, also consider that your customers need that too. Have you considered sponsoring a way for people to enjoy a moment in an oasis of quiet? Going way out on a limb here: buy someone 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to begin a dialogue, maybe a lounge to rest at a strategic location, say a Mall. You have to keep your promise though, no marketing messages, just quiet time.
- Give up your personal history -- clearly, the way you've done things so far may be broken. How's that latest interruption working for you? It's not business as usual, we're just in denial about it. Case studies are ways in which things have worked in the past. What are the new ways? Be a leader.
- You can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it (rewrite your agreement with reality) -- you got yourself into this tight and overcrowded spot by thinking that the more you put out there, the better. When you meet a foreigner who doesn't speak your language, shouting the words at them will not increase the likelihood they will understand you. Learning to speak *their* language will.
- Treat yourself as if you already were what you'd like to become -- start today, do it now, no better time than the present. There are marketers out there who are already having conversations with their customers and prospects. Start with your customers by paying attention to what they are already telling you.
- Treasure your divinity -- elevate your thinking to universal models of kindness and generosity. It's written nowhere that you will be more successful the other way.
- Wisdom is avoiding all thoughts that weaken you -- erase those thoughts that you "can't" do it, your boss "won't" allow you, your customers "don't" care. I once read somewhere that a cynic is a passionate person who just stopped trying. Those are all dead end destinations; choose better ones.
The ancestor to every action is a thought. What are you thinking about?