Markets are named after the places people used to gather to trade stuff. Because of our uniquely human need for interaction, these trading stops became places for people to talk, shoot the breeze and do anything other than actually trade.
They became, in Cluetrain terms, conversations.
Some people were better conversationalists than others and attracted bigger crowds to their stalls. They were remarkable.
But some people were so remarkable, they could shift their remarkableness to others and, for a price, help them become better conversationalists. These guys were the first marketers.
But the conversations these marketing pioneers were having with their clients’ customers weren’t genuine. They lacked something and although no one knew what it was, the customers began to abandon these fake conversations in favour of real conversations. Back to square one for anyone who wasn’t remarkable.
This pattern seems to have followed throughout most of the technological and communications advances of the last 100 years.
Junk mail drove people to radio. Radio advertising drove people to TV. TV advertising drove people online. Telephone spam drove people to wireless. Web 1.0 advertising drove people to Web 2.0 services.
Aggressive marketing on message boards and web 1.0 properties drove people to blogs. The list can and will go on.
My question is: if people are so determined to escape being marketed to, to the point of creating new technologies, what does that mean for the marketing community?