While having a long, hard look at myself, my actions and my life in general, I stumbled upon some theories about quantum physics (and I will be the first to admit that quite a lot of it did go well above my head 😉 )
Among other things I read Lynn McTaggart’s fascinating book The Field, and while the immediate subject matter is not necessarily something that fits into the pages of a marketing blog, reading about these things set off my mind on a number of wild rides.
One of those was how much the way we talk about things, in turn also molds the way we see things and (equally if not more important) how we act on these things.
A simplified example of this could be whether we see a particular obstacle on our way as a “problem” or a “task to be worked around”.
If we see it as a task, our mind goes into a quite different mode than if we see it as a problem.
This in turn made me consider some of the problems I see in the marketing world, like the extreme focus on the “quick buck”, and the equally extreme focus on the list (of emails, followers, readers etc.) as simply something to be exploited for financial gain.
“What do you mean? Aren’t we all here to make money? Now what’s the matter with that?”
In a way, that is correct, but that is also an extremely oversimplified view – and depending on your overall philophy also a dangerous up-side-down way of looking at things.
If we insist on seeing the final outcome as the sole reason for our doing something, we both skip all the stuff that goes in-between, as well as venture out on a slippery-slope that leads directly to around 95% of all new marketing products released on Warror Plus, and the (to me) shady philosophies held by some of the marketers earning considerable income from said products.
Anyway – when considering these things, I started to notice how much the common lingo in marketing supported this way of seeing things. Putting money in the center, rather than putting people there.
As a few examples we have the Make Money Online niche. We have squeeze pages. We have marketing funnels and sales funnels. And of course, these expressions in turn impacts how we consider the people we’re dealing with.
When we talk about the Make Money Online niche, the full focus is on the money. Which also means that when we’re working on making money online, that is what we’re focusing most of our efforts on. Contrast that with instead using the expression Earn A Living Online. To me, at least, earning a living sets off quite different thoughts than making money.
As for the other examples mentioned above, they all point to viewing your customers and prospects as simply a kind of resource to be exploited. You squeeze their email address out of them and then in turn you trick them like fish into a funnel, where they find themselves trapped without any chance of success, as they plunge deeper and deeper into the web you’ve built.
Of course, if that’s what you’re all about, the terminology fits perfectly. But, if on the other hand, you’re more likely to adhere to the philosphy of helping people and reaping your just rewards this way, the terminology seems sorely lacking.
So, what I’m proposing is a new terminology, putting not the marketer, but rather customers and prospects in the center. Human-centered marketing, you might say.
A terminology where instead of squeeze pages we talk of opt-in pages. Where we’re moving towards earning a living online. And where we don’t trap people inside funnel nets and gut them for all their cash. And in turn we get to have quite a different look at what we do for a living.
At least, that’s how I see things. What’s your take on this? Agree? Disagree? Have some good suggestions for new terms? Comment below, and let’s have a great discussion.