I am not a Plastic Surgeon, I’m a Shrink!

Jonny Darling Insight Leave a Comment

Search engines have challenged the status of marketing, or to qualify that, the information revolution, made possible by the Internet, has empowered individuals, as the industrial era did organisations. In the knowledge economy, information transparency enables choice. David can slay Goliath online. On this level playing field, those that treat their consumer pool as a renewable energy resource rather than an oil field will reap recurring dividends. The saying “Customer is King” must pay more than lip-service. Google search results embody genuine customer service, as they refine and improve based on user-feedback. As Chris Anderson points out in his recently published book *FREE*, Google’s entire business model revolves around market demand, with monetisation an after-thought. Granted, not all stayed companies can be so liquid and responsive, but as more and more migrate to a foundation built on naughts and zeros, such versatility will be the gold standard.

This puts search analysts at a distinct advantage. Human behavioural scientists at heart, e-business patterns and trends deliver real- (and ahead-of) time insight into consumer psyche; intellectual property most valuable when network economics (herd mentality in the online marketplace) divvy out fewer market players in a competitive market space. Market research, once the occupation of accountants and management consultancy firms, is handed over to psychologists, with market mind-share the subject of their social practice.

Search engine strategists adopt an architectural role in defining the blueprint of a demand-driven business model. To optimise a website is to perform cosmetic plastic surgery – it covers over the wrinkles and excess but ultimately the cracks reemerge, often worse than had well been left alone. If happiness on a personal level comes from looking within oneself (with or without the assistance of a shrink!), corporate success is outward-looking and engineered by an architect who takes their brief at source, the voice of the market.

If you are looking for a quick (but expensive) fix in the operating theatre, try Adwords. If it is long-term results that you’re after, step into my office prepared to have your assumptions challenged and your marketing plan inverted.

*book reviews online at the Economist and the Financial Times, both of which struggle with the conceptual framework of “freemium“!digital