‘White Swan’ Marketing, or How to Focus on What Works

When the latest marketing answers fail to produce the results you expect, maybe it’s time to start asking different questions.

You don’t need me to tell you that we’re in a crisis of confidence: Consumers don’t believe or act on the information we give them in the ways we’d hope, so we’re losing faith in the strategies and tools we use to communicate with them. We’re asked questions about sales, and we reply with answers about “engagement” and conversational “buzz.”

Budgets are down, expectations are up, and the proliferation of new solutions for “engaging” with consumers in conversations seems inversely proportional to results that our employers and clients can value. We believe that somehow, sometime, all those efforts will coalesce—the dots will connect—and yield stunning successes, just like those celebrated in case histories and magazine articles.

I have news for you: We’re chasing black swans. And if we keep doing it, we’re doomed.

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