Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 11, 2009 9:27 PM

What If?

Have you ever, really, asked yourself a "What if?" question?

Do you remember the Marvel Comics series titled, What If? (yes, I was - and still am - a bit of a comic book geek). That comic book series asked questions like, What if Spider-Man was a murderer? What if Captain America revived in 1994? and What if the Hulk had killed Wolverine? As if you needed more fantasy from the Marvel Universe, this series really pushed the limits of creativity.

What If? is a powerful concept. It can help you re-focus and re-energize your Marketing by forcing you to think differently.

Here's the big "What If?" question that I have been thinking a lot about lately:

What if traditional mass media advertising did not exist?

If you had a product and you had to get the word out, what would you do? More often than not, Marketers seem to struggle with Digital Marketing because mass media is "they way it has always been." But, what if you never knew about mass advertising or public relations? What if you woke up today, in 2009, and had all of the strategies and tools that we have at your disposal but there was no legacy of mass media advertising? Would your default be traditional advertising? What would you do?

What if you had zero marketing budget, but you had to make something happen? What would you do?

"What if?" is a great and powerful question to ask. Odds are, starting a sentence with the words "what if" is exactly what has brought our world some of the best innovations our society has ever seen.

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by sean dixon
    Mitch Joel

    There was a great book that did the sand thing with historical events. Fascinating stuff.
    I think traditional advertising would still have a place, but every single message would be a drive to further engagement through internet/interactive means. A pushed message shouldn't cut it, and as time goes on, people will expect and demand more in return for their attention.

    Reply
  • Posted by Charles
    Mitch Joel

    Without mass media you'd use word of mouth techniques.

    Say you make handmade chocolates, you're just starting out, you don't have a retail store, which usually would bring people in off the street just with its displays.


    Step one - if you're not creative find a just-starting-out designer to create your brand imagery - web, packaging, the lot.
    Step two - set up an online store, people need to be able to buy from you, from day one.
    Step three - get some buzz going - get onto twitter, find people in your country (domestic mail being cheaper) who are tweeting about chocolate - how much they love it, conversations about your competitors (boutique chocolatiers, not Hersheys, Mars etc) and offer to send them a sample pack and let you know what they thought of it.
    Step four - assuming the above has worked, repeat step three.

    Further things to do:
    Do some real-world trial encouragement - rent a stand in a mall, offer tastings.
    Invite a foodie blogger or two to come and check out your 'story' - give them an interview, learn about how much love you put into your product.

    Plenty more ideas where that came from that don't involve mass media advertising.

    Reply
  • Posted by Luc Gendron
    Mitch Joel

    Your post reminded me Arsenio and his famous "Thing that make you go hmmm!"

    What if the financial crisis just prove that you better delivering value or disapear?

    What if the Web reveal just faster people or companies not able to generate genuine value?

    What if text content on the Web stays free and the audio/video's be charge on file's weight basis?

    What is the tipping point of a crowd to move from "what if?" to "let's go!"?

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    What if?...your organization/business was really great with excellent customer's service that 'really cared' about people and those people could not stop talking about the organization/business and it's excellent customer's service...what if?

    Reply
  • Posted by boler
    Mitch Joel

    If you had a product and you had to get the word out, what would you do? More often than not, Marketers seem to struggle with Digital Marketing because mass media is "they way it has always been."

    Reply
  • Posted by plarges
    Mitch Joel

    But, what if you never knew about mass advertising or public relations? What if you woke up today, in 2009, and had all of the strategies and tools that we have at your disposal but there was no legacy of mass media advertising?

    Reply
  • Posted by max gentlemen
    Mitch Joel

    What if Captain America revived in 1994? and What if the Hulk had killed Wolverine? As if you needed more fantasy from the Marvel Universe, this series really pushed the limits of creativity.

    Reply
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