Wunderman: We create relationships…or else

Lester Wunderman, speaking at Forrester’s Marketing Forum:

“We create relationships…or else.”

"The business of advertising is to create relationships between buyers and sellers.  We used to be in the business of direct marketing – now we’re in the business of relationship marketing."  We will eventually move on to personal marketing, which will be facilitated by the use of data.

"Communications used to be dominated by the seller.  Today, the hero is the consumer.  Advertising used to speak – now they must listen."  Marketers need to move from product trial to creating and retaining loyal customers.

Four goals for direct marketing:  Relevance, relationship, repurchase, and retention.

Do consumers switch brands because they’re not loyal?  "No – people aren’t loyal to brands like they’re loyal to country, family, or faith.  Loyalty means fealty."  "I doubt you’d put your life on the line for your favorite brand of breakfast cereal."

"Word of mouth is still the most powerful force around."

Closing thought:  “In marketing, as in life, there’s no substitute for imagination or leadership.”

UPDATE:  Mr. Wunderman’s own post regarding his speech.