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How to Spot 'Campaign Thinking'

080711c As Ben McConnell correctly notes below, there are two kinds of thinking among marketing communicators. We have "campaign thinking" and we have ... something better. Ben calls it "evangelism thinking" because his book is Creating Customer Evangelists. I prefer to think of it as "systems thinking." Drew Neisser calls it "marketing as service." Whatever you call it, it runs all the time, bringing your audience closer and closer to your company. "Campaign Thinking" is not just short-term, it's incredibly wasteful, one-time-usage thinking. Old-line advertising agency make their money by replacing worn-out campaigns.

Your company should foreswear "campaign thinking" and find something more sustainable and meaningful--something that supports a growing circle of customers and well-wishers.

Church of the Customer Blog: Closing a Disney community. 2008-May-20, by Ben McConnell

Disney envisioned VMK as an 18-month promotion, not a long-term loyalty effort. The closing of VMK illustrates a schism prevalent today at many companies, especially larger ones: the battle between short-term campaigns vs. long-term evangelism. Campaign thinking is a byproduct of the last 25 years of business school education. The formula has been to create a short-term project using established metrics, execute, then start over with a new idea. Move the needle quickly. The formula for evangelism thinking is: Create a project where the community of users become part of the process and most importantly, are considered a tangible asset. The needle may not move as fast because the investment is for the long term, but it's less likely to have wild, up-and-down swings.

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