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Concurrence: Consumer Attitudes and a New Model for Marketing Productivity – By Kevin Masi

 

 

 

Concurrence: Consumer Attitudes and a New Model for Marketing Productivity.

 

Because of consumer resistance to marketing, there has never been a better time to win customer loyalty. Sound counter intuitive? It’s the main argument in J. Walker Smith, Ann Clurman, and Craig Wood’s recent book, Coming to Concurrence: Addressable Attitudes and the New Model for Marketing Productivity. The authors not only make sense, but they also provide a method to support their madness; and we couldn’t agree more.

 

According to one Yankelovich survey, more than 80% of consumers feel inundated by marketing. 60% actively seek products that will help shield them from marketing. As a result, marketing productivity is sliding.

 

However, the authors argue, people don’t want marketing to go away all together; they want different marketing. That’s where Concurrence Marketing comes in.

 

Concurrence Marketing is about triggering the passion and the urge to participate that come when people get excited about something in the marketplace.

 

Marketers can’t get there with demographic data alone, or by following the traditional four Ps of marketing (product, place, promotion and price). They have to work on getting more detailed knowledge about individual customers, to find a fit with the way people shop, live and work. The key is tapping into consumer attitudes, and then letting them have an unprecedented level of control.

 

People want and expect to have the power to shape their lives. In order to market to them successfully, we must give our customers the power to self-customize, to give them control.

 

Toward these ends, Concurrence Marketing focuses on four core principles: Precision, Relevance, Power and Reciprocity.

 

Precision arises from associating attitudes with individuals. That means connecting a specific name and address with a type of attitude. These include attitudes about a product category, lifestyle choices related to the category, and attitudes about shopping and marketing.

 

Once attitudes are understood, the right message must be developed, appealing to emotional resonance and life values (not the product).

 

Marketing must share the power. Scion allows customers to order dozens of options. Bank One allows customers to invent themselves and the credit card that fits them. Nike allows customers to personalize all types of sports products.

 

Common to all of these is the ability for consumers to opt in, and also to participate in the product and brand process. The message is powerful: we trust you. And in turn, this fosters the reciprocal response to trust the brands.

 

Marketing itself must add something of value if it is going to draw interest and attention. One of the ways this is taking shape is in the movement of marketing toward a form of entertainment, as with BMW’s short online films featuring Hollywood stars and directors. In these films BMW created a new genre in both marketing and entertainment, and has built brand charisma.

 

Similarly, Pottery Barn has elevated its catalogs to feel like coffee table books. Whirlpool and Kitchen Aid joined forces to create the Insperience Studio in Atlanta, where people can come to test fully functioning kitchen and laundry facilities, and attend seminars, demos and other events to learn about all of their products.

 

Key elements of building trust include: transparency of information, product and service quality, honest product comparisons, correct alignment of sales incentives, providing self-help tools, and cooperative design with customers.

 

The steps to aligning your company for Concurrence are: 1) put attitudes at the center of marketing; 2) adopt a new internal vocabulary; 3) monitor the impact of your marketing by testing customer perception; 4) engage customers with options and control to foster reciprocal trust; 5) do less and get more—zero in on the people with the right attitudes; 6) use non-traditional media to complement traditional media.

 

The opportunity to stand out amid the clutter of marketing messages has never been better, or more necessary for success. Concurrence Marketing provides as promising a model as any we’ve seen for marketers to offer

 

 

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consumers better value and better alignment with their lifestyle choices. Kevin Masi, Principal