True Full-Stack Marketing

Yeah, you’ve seen the creepy robot dogs opening doors and getting knocked down only to get back up again (which I know I’ve seen in a movie scene starring a certain Austrian-born muscle dude who may have possibly run the state of California at one time) But the machines are really coming to disrupt the marketing profession.

Like you, I receive a lot of e-mails trying to get my hard-earned dollars and promising me the world with very little risk involved. For example, I recently received one that said Learn the Full Stack of Digital Marketing Skills for $99 — EVERYTHING you need for marketing.

“Wow, everything for $99?,” I said, rethiinking my entire undergrad and graduate education. I was incredibly curious about what might be in this “full stack” I’d be getting.

Well, the “full stack” includes a very impressive array of tools like:

  • Google Pay Per Click Advertising
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Facebook/Instagram/SnapChat/LinkedIn Advertising
  • Re-targeting (that is the practice invented by Satan of feeding you the same ad over and over again until you buy something, go insane or block the company from your view forever.)
  • Landing Web Page Construction with Shopping Carts (to sell your amazing stuff)

And there you have it — the “full stack” you need to be an ace at marketing in 2019. Except, a few tiny things MIGHT be missing from this stack so I’ll just list those right here off the top of my head:

  • Research/Positioning/Strategy
  • Brand Messaging
  • Inbound, Attraction-Based Tactics including Public Relations (Media/Influencer Relations) and Content Marketing (including video)

But the biggest list miss (to me) was the E word. Empathy.  

Empathy is critically important in modern marketing because before you inflict your “full stack” of stuff on the world, you have to assume that the audience doesn’t really WANT to hear from you. This very useful assumption allows us to go deeper and create BETTER marketing that just might be able to earn the attention, trust and respect of today’s audiences.  

And it’s missing. Audience empathy is entirely absent in the vast majority of marketing approaches I see. It’s not even considered. And yet, ironically, marketing’s main goal is to build relationships. You have to have empathy to do that. You can’t just talk, you must listen. You can’t just take, you must give. You can’t just sell, you must connect.

That stuff I just said — THAT is actual marketing. And if your company’s “stack” doesn’t start with empathy and include a lot of giving and connection/engagement, you might be stuck with just doing an expensive digital advertising campaign and calling it effective marketing.