The TunnelIn the future, marketing must be valuable. But that isn’t enough.

Earlier this week, Michael Brenner outlined the future of marketing, drawing from last fall’s future of advertising article in Fast Company. It is a great perspective. The question is, how do you accomplish it? How do you, as Michael said, “create communities of customer advocates and evangelists”?

There are three principles to excel in the future of marketing that Michael presented and will create the advocates and evangelists that will drive your brand. These are the lights you strive towards, not a destination you ever reach (although as a consumer, I wish every marketer could!)

  • Your marketing must become so valuable the audience would miss it.
  • Your product and service must always exceed expectations.
  • You must put your audience’s needs first.

Please Market to Me!

Valuable marketing is just the beginning. When every company has valuable marketing, any company will do. Getting participation on a webcast or a passing a grade on your website feedback survey isn’t nearly enough.

Does your marketing have a following like Grey’s Anatomy? Does your audience always want more? Will they scream “Bring it Back!” if you stop marketing? Any marketer that can answer that question with an honest and resounding yes has an audience to begin mobilizing.

Wow, You Are Amazing!

No one is excited to work with a company that merely meets their expectations, and you need more than just a customer. You need an advocate and an evangelist. You need to exceed expectations, raise expectations and exceed them again. You need customers that are so satisfied they simply cannot contain their surprise and excitement.

Thank You for Always Thinking of Me!

You have heard the line “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Why is even more important for advocacy. When I know you have a great product, I might recommend it. When I know what your company believes in and I see your belief come to life in your product, I can confidently recommend it, knowing it will continue to be a great product.

Yes, these principles are unattainable. Every one of these principles must be assessed from the perspective of your potential advocates and if it is attained, expectations will simply be reset higher. But just like six sigma in manufacturing is born out of a constant pursuit of an unattainable standard, marketers that set aside their internal and self-serving view and pursue constant improvement against these principles will see incredible results.

Your Turn. This is an extreme set of principles, will pursuing these principles benefit marketers? Is there a 180 degree different direction that will drive the advocacy and evangelism Michael referenced in his post? Share your perspective in the comments below or with me on Twitter.