2012 Prediction: Stop the Bullshit and Do Marketing That Matters

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It’s just about time for all of the 2012 marketing and social media trend predictions, that annual rite of passage for seasoned and budding gurus, ninjas or whatever the hell the latest term is for people who tend to say more than they know.

But next year is different. Next year, after all, may be our last year on Earth.

I’m not saying the Mayans were right, I’m just saying that if the world does end in December 2012, what do we want to do for our final act? What will “marketing” mean in the final days? How would you approach your campaigns and community if you knew that the next quarter was your last?

And here’s the rub – you have to keep working. You can’t just curl up with your family and watch the last sunsets. You won’t know it’s the end until it’s upon you, so in the meantime, life (and commerce) must go on.

I know what I would do. I would focus my efforts on creating real connections, evoking real emotion, making a real difference for people who don’t want to leave this life feeling empty. I would use marketing to give people access to products and ideas that will make their lives easier, better and richer for whatever time is left.

So here’s a thought for 2012: Let’s do this anyway.

What you would do at the End of the World should be no different than what you should do every day.

If the past decade of social media has taught us anything, it’s that marketing doesn’t matter. It never did. It’s all bullshit – sometimes elegant, sometimes funny, sometimes evocative, but nevertheless bullshit.

Let’s accept this and move on. Marketing is a path, but it’s not the goal. It’s not success.

Next year may be the last. Maybe not. Either way, maybe it’s time to start using all of this great social technology for something greater than getting more people to click a button that somehow signifies their undying devotion to your brand.

Mean something instead.

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