Monday, June 15, 2009

Two Ex-Presidents Teach Marketers A Thing or Two

What influences consumers more: authority or authenticity? Quite possibly, George Walker Bush and William Jefferson Clinton have produced the definitive word on this conversation, which is passing among top marketing/social media experts.

On June 10, Mark Olson – who, bless his heart, is a “marketing idealist” -- asked five of the big names in the blogosphere (Seth Godin, David Meerman Scott, Brian Solis, Chris Brogan, and Mike Volpe) whether they thought authority was more important than authenticity in communicating with customers.

I won’t tell you what these major influencers said because the conversation has just begun and, besides, it’s essential reading. In scanning what they said, though, I was reminded of two "authorities"—Presidents Bush and Clinton – who fell into serious disfavor (if not impeachment) because ordinary people thought they lacked authenticity. These men both parsed enough words and told enough half-truths to lose our confidence. And they both went down.

So, maybe once upon a time, authority made everybody shiver and fall into line, but maybe not so much now. Ya tink?

- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

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