You've seen them all around the Internet. The new marketing rules for the Internet age - the secrets you need to know to survive.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the Internet and e-commerce, it's no wonder there's a thirst for new rules. Internet companies are collapsing, witness Boo.com (now Fashionmall.com) and Toysmart.com as recent famous examples. Forget that these collapses are typically due to company hubris or just bad implementation. Instead, these debacles seem to fuel the idea that failure must come from not really knowing some mysterious new rules.
But what are the new marketing rules? Well, there's no shortage of that. The January cover for PC Computing magazine from Ziff-Davis (ZD), for example, said "Marketing Secrets for the New Economy: Everything you thought you knew about marketing is wrong!" Nice headline.....pretty scary, huh?
In my opinion these so-called new marketing rules are just repackaging some timeless and far more useful broad marketing ideas.
Consider, for example, a recent book excerpt that appeared in Business 2.0 called "Relationships Rule", by Don Tapscott, David Ticoll, and Alex Lowy. Here are some of their so-called new rules of marketing.
THE NEW RULE: CUSTOMERS PARTICIPATE IN CREATING PRODUCTS.
Before, firms marketed one way to customers, not listening to them, pushing products on them. "The old industrial approaches to product definition and product marketing die."
The Reality: This is actually an old rule of marketing. Both marketing professors and professionals have long argued that marketing is fundamentally about fulfilling needs, not creating them, and that customers must be involved in product creation. That many Internet companies haven't heeded this advice doesn't indicate a new rule, just a poor adherence to a long existing idea.
Allen Weiss is the founder and publisher of MarketingProfs.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.