In this full interview with Doug Levy, he discusses his new book, Can't Buy Me Like. In the book, Levy tackles the changing marketing space, believing that companies must either adapt or continue to put blind faith on increasingly ineffective advertising. Levy also explains a new era that we've entered, dubbed the 'relationship era', and describes how this will change marketing for all companies, big and small.
One of the companies grabbing hold of the new way the world does marketing is Google . As one of the most dominant Internet companies ever, Google has made a habit of driving strong returns for its shareholders. However, like many other web companies, it's also struggling to adapt to an increasingly mobile world. Despite gaining an enviable lead with its Android operating system, the market isn't sold. That's why it's more important than ever to understand each piece of Google's sprawling empire. In The Motley Fool's new premium research report on Google, we break down the risks and potential rewards for Google investors. Simply click here now to unlock your copy of this invaluable resource.
Brendan Byrnes: Hi, I'm Brendan Byrnes and I'm joined today by Doug Levy. Doug is the author of Can't Buy Me Like, and also the founder and CEO of MEplusYOU. Thank you for your time.
Doug Levy: I'm delighted to be with you.
Brendan: My first question is about the book. You talk about this Relationship Era that we're now entering. Can you describe that, and what that means for marketers?
Doug: You bet. First, a little context. We have entered a new era. We got here by way of a couple of preceding eras. The first era of marketing I call the Product Era, where marketers just talked about the product and the features of the product.
That gave way to a new era around the 1960s, when marketers realized that they could not just talk about their product but really get to know the people who were intended to buy their product, and win over hearts and minds, so marketing shifted from the Product Era to the Consumer Era.
We've now moved out of the Consumer Era. We've moved to a new era. This new era is called the Relationship Era, and what we're seeing is that marketers who continue to do business in a way that was prescribed by the Consumer Era are struggling, relative to those who have fully entered this new era.
Brendan: How do you enter this new era? What are some principles that you can use to be successful in the Relationship Era?
Doug: Chief among them is that companies that care about something bigger than selling their product sell more of their product. It's counterintuitive, but that's exactly it. What I'm talking about is not moving away from caring about selling your product, or not caring about profit.
The companies that have been the most successful in the Relationship Era care deeply about selling things and about profit. In fact, they've been extraordinarily profitable. They care about something in addition to that, something bigger than that, also.
Brendan: What's the biggest mistake that marketers are making nowadays? Is it not adapting to this new way of thinking, or are there other mistakes that they're making as well?
Doug: Yeah, they are. I think some marketers are mistaking media channels for the relevance of their approach to marketing.
In other words, they may mistake what I'm calling the Consumer Era with old media -- TV, radio, print -- and the Relationship Era with new media -- digital, social, mobile -- but that's not it at all. What we're talking about isn't a channel or a tool or a technology. It's a mind-set or an intent.
Brendan: What about trying to measure this? Obviously when it comes to advertising, marketing successes, back in the old days you threw ads on TV... Now we have a way of directly measuring that with the Internet and how many clicks something's getting. It comes directly to these advertising executives. How much does that affect the way that things are changing, if at all?
Doug: It does, in part because some things are more difficult to measure, so what gets measured most often in corporations are the financial metrics.
What we're talking about here is not moving away from those financial metrics, but also fully embracing a non-financial component of business, namely trust. The degree to which there's trust between a company and an individual has a significant impact. For a company, it can look like deeply understanding the customers you're in relationship with, and how much they love you.