In previous generations the focus has been primarily on the acquisition of knowledge. There was a value placed on a person’s knowledge and this could be seen in the raised status in society of a person holding a degree, masters or PHD. As a result of this focus on knowledge, the school and second level systems have traditionally been focused on training people solely on the absorption and regurgitation of information. The question is; in this Age of Information how valuable is that model now? Any piece of information, no matter how complex, can be accessed within seconds from our mobile technology rendering, in my belief, information to be a valueless commodity.
I believe we are now moving into the Age of Wisdom and that Understanding, Critical Thinking and Creativity are going to be the greatest asset any person can develop within themselves. It is no longer the information that is important but the dissemination of that information that is vital. According to Wikipedia the definition of wisdom is
“a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding”.
So why is this relevant for the role of marketing within your business?
Understanding: Understanding your consumer is the most important part of the marketing process. It first starts with the acquiring of information through market research. It is the deep understanding of your customer’s experience of their life and the world around them. These insights can provide you with great knowledge and it is the role of a good marketer to then apply this knowledge to your business.
Critical Thinking: The information you gather in market research is only as valuable as the critical thinking applied to it. A good marketer will work to get below the data facts and think about what this information really means to your product or service. How and where does your brand fit within the life of the consumer? How do you wish consumers to perceive and behave towards you? What are the insights that can help grow sales if applied specifically to your product or service? It is to understand the strengths, weaknesses and threats to your business and then with critical thinking use these to create opportunities to build and grow your brand.
Creativity: Having a unique selling point or creating stand out in the market requires a level of creativity. It is the ability to think differently about the problems you face and create options for solving those problems. In the age of Wisdom, creativity is what makes your brand stand out amongst the crowd. It is the point of difference between you and your competitor. It is about how can you do things differently or do them better than someone else.
The statistics for information sharing on the internet today are mind-boggling (http://www.onlineeducation.net/internet) and it can be daunting to any business owners on how to engage with it. However, if wisdom is the way forwards, it simply means going back to the fundamentals of marketing, regardless of the quantity of hard or soft information out there:
- Know and deeply understand your consumer
- Apply this insight to your brand
- Be creative to ensure stand out in a busy market
Muireann Fitzmaurice, MF Marketing Consultancy
Ph: 0868932768 Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.mfconsultancy.ie