Other voices

It seems that some of my recent posts have stirred up some controversy. I notice I have mixed feelings… sure I like the attention but in some ways being in an echo chamber was easier.

Anyway here are a few links to some interesting posts which are a bit of a pushback to what you may have read here and hereabouts.

Evelyn Rodriguez writes an Open Letter to the Lunatic Fringe of Marketing. That sounds quite harsh at first sight although Evelyn is trying to build bridges. She points to parts of Lovemarks that sound more “Cluetrainy” and suggests the author is trying to start a quiet revolution – by wooing and coaxing. It’s an interesting angle though I don’t find the tone of Lovemarks wooing or coaxing.

She also suggests that maybe we’re giving Lovemarks too much attention. Which I often think is true. Still, I think it’s good that a few people have done a pushback against Lovemarks being cited (by Tom Peters) as the biz book of the half-decade. I also suspect (can’t prove) that a few of us here are only articulating what quite a lot of others are thinking. I don’t think Lovemarks is a as mainstream as Evelyn does.

And yes, Evelyn, maybe it’s time to put my attention elsewhere. Though if others choose to comment or ping me on the subject, I may choose to engage with them.

David Burn asks Lovemarks, Godmarks, What’s the Diff He focuses on Hugh at GapingVoid in particular. I tend to agree with David that brands will always be with us; it’s what we do in the name of branding that matters.

Mark at ForwardMarkets – Marketing is as Marketing Does – says I and others are “trying to eviscerate the status quo in order to have themselves or at least their

5 thoughts on “Other voices

  1. David Burn

    Good to have you back, Johnnie. I trust your time away from the computer was rewarding.

    I love blogs, and I work hard most of the day on mine, but it’s good to remember there’s an actual, physical world out there (that could give a rat’s ass about blogs). And yes, it’s full of brands and will continue to be for some time, for better or worse.

  2. Evelyn Rodriguez

    Ah, but Lovemarks isn’t wooing or coaxing “us” – it’s written in a language that would speak to the early majority/mainstream of business. I’m very intrigued by your comment that Lovemarks isn’t mainsteam – who do you think it is intended for/speaking to?

    I agree with Mark that “if” we’re not reaching the mainstream marketers however. That’s the status quo, I believe, that he references.

  3. Evelyn Rodriguez

    Oops, meant to say: “I agree with Mark that we’re not adequately persuading – and I certainly put myself in there – the mainstream marketers.”

    What’s a mainstream marketer? I’ll use one close friend as the prototypical example. Thank god, he won’t see himself here as he wouldn’t be caught dead reading your blog. He think blogs are a huge waste of time – it takes too long to build any “relationship” that results in sales. He’s focused on direct marketing, SEO and other measurable marketing techniques where he can see immediate ROI instead. He equates marketing to sales often. And yet, he is intensely interested in donating 10% of his income to environmental causes and is intensely active in the New Age community.

  4. Johnnie Moore

    Hi Evelyn, thanks for the clarification about the wooing/coaxing. And for keeping the discussion evolving.

    I appreciate that your effort to bridge the divide is difficult and I appreciate the different perspective it allows you to bring to bear.

    It’s prompted to me to think about what I’m trying to do with my blog. This may not be an answer to your comments, but it is a response…

    I’ve introduced muddle to this by my own carelessness. There’s a typo in my post: I meant to say Lovemarks is not AS mainstream as you think. And even correctly spelt it’s not very articulate. Let me try again..

    I don’t want to get engaged in speculating about who Lovemarks is written for. Because I don’t really care.

    It’s in the public domain. I don’t in the end care where I am on the adoption curve, it’s not my job to speak for others.

    It’s always been a standard defence for crummy advertising for the agency to say, ah but you’re not the target audience. Authors don’t get to determine who their readers are.

    I resist your implication that the marketing world is populated by rigid people who can’t bear to talk about anything other than ROI.

    I think there may be a large number of them who think it’s safer to go along with a slavish adoration of ROI but that’s not the same thing.

    And even if they are as rigid as your example, I don’t want to treat these people as if they are so highly-strung and insecure that they have to be seduced, instead of being dealt with straighforwardly.

    It’s a habit of mine now, rightly or wrongly, always to challenge the argument that says, “Look out, these people won’t listen to controversy” – and then fails to offer it to them and let them – as adults – decide for themselves.

    But then maybe this is just my own approach to writing: not to write to please an audience, but to say what I think and engage with whoever shows up for a chat. It’s not a fast way to wealth and glory, not by any stretch. I get the impression that it’s your approach too.

    I love facilitating and doing conflict resolution, and integration. And sometimes I like to provide some of the conflict too.

  5. Johnnie Moore

    Thanks for the considered reply. I’m sure where the wooing and coaxing vocabulary started, but really I meant to say is that I respect that not everyone is coming from a common frame of reference, values or language. There are so many ways to communicate that educate, rather than erect more walls because they feel they’re misunderstood, unlistened to and unheard.

    I’m not advocating pleasing others or seeking approval or avoid conflict (ever, really) – but rather being respectful of the differences of view in order to really have a dialogue that moves us forward rather than creates a stalemate. Conflict is one of the better opportunities to understand each other – if we allow it.

    I used my friend – he’s a very good friend – as a example precisely because he is certainly not rigid, but I’d certainly erode that friendship with him if my conversation with him felt more like I was personally bashing him and what he believed in rather than having him feel heard and taking it into account the real underlying issues. It’s not just merely ROI, it’s a real fear that his business will languish or die – and with it goes the jobs he’s responsible for – because he’s off doing unproven things that sound highly speculative.


    Hi Evelyn: Good stuff. I think we’re getting somewhere here.

    And yes, I think there’s a point when it’s good to move from the initial frisson of dispute and the punch-and-judy towards a dialogue. I think you’ve summarised that pretty darn well. Cheers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.