We stand with Ukraine and our team members from Ukraine.

The Community Of Over 640,000

Home ›› Strategy ›› All Salmon Swim Against the Current

All Salmon Swim Against the Current

by Alex Schleifer
3 min read
Share this post on
Tweet
Share
Post
Share
Email
Print

Save

Gurus say that everything you know is wrong. But is it? We investigate.

Howard goes against the trend somewhat and announces the possible appearance of what he calls “Retro Marketing” . In a world where going against the current is what everybody tries to do it becomes terribly important to take a step back and evaluate (instead of simply reading and nodding) how the new world of marketing is being forged. Advertising is dead , marketeers lie , and such new mantras are often being perceived as absolutes. Howard rightly thinks that this too could very well change. Hence the “retro marketing” concept.

“I find myself wondering if the “new era” of marketing is quickly becoming the cluttered noise that it is hoping to rise above. The latest “Fad” based on a few case studies where a different approach proved successful.”

The thing is that basically people love fundamentals, big concepts, and omnipotent ideas that replace/fix everything that came before. It’s much easier to latch on to something that will “change your life” than something that will “make your life a little better over the years”. This is how telemarketeers sell stuff and it’s how Seth Godin sells stuff. “All marketeers are liars”, etc…

You’ll notice that every one of these gurus loves to be what can only be called a fundamentalist. You can’t sell yourself as a “well, it depends on the situation” type of guy. A few days ago I read on a blog (I forget which one) that “airport billboards don’t work”. Never? Really? The last time I landed in Heathrow I selected Vodafone as my mobile network because of one. The fact is you can’t turn “simple common sense” into a book, you can’t make “eh, it depends…” sexy. What sells are things like “fire all clients that aren’t exceptional!” or “make everyone the boss!”. The world doesn’t work in absolutes but it sure loves to listen to them.

My least favourite Seth “I refer to him a lot” Godin book has to be The Big Red Fez (“How To Make Any Web Site Better”) specifically because it talks in those absolute terms. Throughout reading it I kept thinking things like “well, not ALWAYS but it works sometimes, if placed there, made smaller, or redesigned to look like this”. It didn’t work for me, it was targetting the lowest common denominator and trying to give answers which would suit most of the people most of the time. Ironically for Seth, much of the advice wouldn’t make the websites outstanding, it would just about work, band-aid. Which isn’t bad, or useless for that matter but just that. To become outstanding requires a lot more, even doing some “Retro Marketing”.

The best one can do is look around, pick some good ideas and let his/her good judgement do the rest. At the end of the day it isn’t meeting Tom Peters or reading a Seth Godin e-book that’s going to make your business succesfull, it’s you and the things you figure out before everyone else does.

post authorAlex Schleifer

Alex Schleifer, Alex is CEO of Sideshow , an award winning creative agency. You can read his blog here.

Tweet
Share
Post
Share
Email
Print

Related Articles

Tips on how to champion HCD and design research to stakeholders and get them on board with all of your UX processes.

How to Champion HCD and Design Research to Stakeholders
  • The article covers:
    • The importance of stakeholder management
    • Challenges to overcome with research resisters
    • Common objections to doing user research and how to respond
Share:How to Champion HCD and Design Research to Stakeholders
8 min read
How to Champion HCD and Design Research to Stakeholders

Curious to know about a philosophy that liberates our innate need for control? Then read to find out.

A Philosophy for Systems Change
  • The author talks about the nature of systems change and unpacks the following ideas:
    • Dynamics of Change: Our Situations Devolve and Evolve
    • Wabi-Sabi: A Design Philosophy for Complexity
    • Social Systems: The Beauty of Imperfect, Impermanent, and Incomplete Information
    • Social Systems: The Beauty of Modest and Humble Learning
    • Social Systems: The Beauty of Unconventional Thinking
Share:A Philosophy for Systems Change
5 min read
A Philosophy for Systems Change

Technology makes seemingly inconvenient tasks easier — but at what cost?

The Value of Inconvenient Design
  • The article covers the problem of friction and its impact on design.
  • The author explains the problem friction brings to design value based on examples of IKEA, Facebook and Amazon.
Share:The Value of Inconvenient Design
8 min read
The Value of Inconvenient Design

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Check our privacy policy and