Rebooting Marketing: Forget Your Image, Focus on Relationships

Question: What lessons have you learned from this recession?

Don Tapscott: The financial services industry needs a lot more than a fresh infusion of capital and new regulation. It needs a whole new modus operandi where integrity is baked into the DNA of the industry. Principles like interdependence and emergence and transparency and self-organization. These are the new design principles for our 20th century institutions.

If you look at the challenges facing any individual business, or government or whatever, in this much broader context, you're not going to just slash and burn as we have done in traditional recessions. You're going to stand back, think strategically and think about where does our business needs to go to compete and to be successful in this environment.

Question: How is the recession impacting the way companies do business?

Don Tapscott: I think it's causing us to think very differently about everything, like marketing. I don't think you should focus on your customers. You should engage them and co-innovate with them. You shouldn't build products or services, you should create customer experiences. You shouldn't try to build your brand as an image, a word in mind, a promise, a badge. That's not what the brand is anymore. The brand is becoming a complex construct where integrity is at the foundation of it, and a relationship is more important than an image.

The four Ps of marketing--product, place, price and promotion--these are all completely inadequate to understand how to compete in this environment.


Recorded on: June 9th, 2009.


Unlike previous recessions, we can’t slash and burn our way back to prosperity.

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