In Praise of Pedestrian Marketing


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Pedestrian marketing – marketing that fits squarely into the norms of your market space and carefully adheres to the guidelines and rules of what everyone knows are the currently right ways to do things – offers some real and tangible benefits to marketers and business.

– When you do what everyone knows is the right thing, it is hard to be criticized. Other managers, even those outside of marketing, can see and understand your logic and your tactics. No one is threatened by an approach with which they are familiar.

– Following the gurus’ and experts’ advice allows you to prove value. You can, for example, point to the number of likes, connects, follows, or how many customers you’ve “engaged,” when the CFO demands proof of worth.

– Staying within the norm doesn’t challenge prospects about what they think they know and what they think they want. You don’t have to waste time trying to show value-added. You can concentrate on SEO standing and gaining more social media metrics.

– You limit the downside professional or career risk. Your campaigns’ successes will track with industry averages, with very few absolute failures.

– Following the current marketing trends insulates you from criticisms of not being on top of what’s happening, of not being as well versed in tools, techniques, and mechanisms as other people. It also allows you to talk with authority about the state of the profession.

– And everyone can do it. It doesn’t require any particular creativity, courage, or expertise. So CEOs and CMOs can hire people with “3-5 years experience” (a cheap and broad labor pool) and be secure in the kind of marketing campaigns they will get.

There is one drawback to pedestrian marketing, however. It doesn’t really add very much to a company’s revenues or competitive positioning.

But you can’t have everything. Right?

Emily R. Coleman
Dr. Emily R. Coleman is President of Competitive Advantage Marketing, Inc., a firm that specializes in helping companies expand their reach and revenues through strategy and implementation. Dr. Coleman has more than 30 years of hands-on executive management experience working with companies, from Fortune 500 firms to entrepreneurial enterprises. Dr. Coleman's expertise extends from the integration of corporate-wide marketing operations and communications to the development and implementation of strategy into product development and branding.


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