"Industries where everything is seen as a commodity- are that way because the industry wants them to be that way. People in an industry either work to be just like everyone else but cheaper, or they work to be different from everyone else. And the second one is a lot more rare." - Seth Godin
So began the Promo Kitchen podcast with guest Seth Godin( PK #33). This is a fascinating conversation in that our hosts, Mark Graham and Bobby Lehew asked very pointed, industry specific, questions. Clearly the promotional profession is undergoing change. The current model (supplier / distributor /end user) is certainly suspect as a result of the internet. However, in this compelling remark Seth mitigates the concern. "If we're talking about long-term customers, the challenge you've got is simple, which is,can you keep the people you have and engage them so that they bring in their colleagues? If that happens, then the Internet is your friend."
There's no denying that buyer behavior is changing. Some would claim that the "decision journey" is being heavily influenced by price. A reasonable assumption perhaps. Recommendations from peers, "tribes" and "influencers" are shaping more and more buying decisions NOT price. Who knew? ..Word of mouth marketing endures.
Toward the end of the podcast a listener asks about diferentiating oneself. SG responds: "the whole key of differentiation is, you need to be able to sell this sentence and say this sentence and have this sentence be true.We will sell you something no one else can sell you. And if you can't say that don't be surprised if people are going to send you an RFP."
This was a remarkable conversation. These were just a few personal take aways. I highly recommend this particular podcast. I would also encourage you to subscribe / contribute to PROMO KITCHEN. The future is all about unconditional collaboration!