Source: Pete Souza via Wikimedia Commons (https://tinyurl.com/y8k7edmj).
Everyone's looking for some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Consumers are no exception.
And if we marketers and marketing communication practitioners are as smart as we believe we are, it's plain to see that the world is quickly 'runnin' out of "fools"'.
Not least because of the spanner that the Web and the "disruptions" surrounding the tech-savvy, seemingly self-absorbed Generation Y (a.k.a. 'millennials') have thrown in the works.
Fortified by social media and instant messaging services, word of mouth can now travel faster and farther than ever before.
This democratisation of communication and information sharing has suddenly turned the spotlight back on marketing & advertising accountability.
Geographic markets—until recently virtual provincial fiefdoms of brands—no longer insulate marketers from the blowback from a brand's real or perceived shortcoming. A wound to a brand's image in one market can today haemorrhage market share virtually overnight in a market halfway around the world.
Governmental censure & fines, anti-consumption campaigns, loss of face, and the inevitable layoffs can be compounded by a drastic—sometimes fatal—reduction in brand equity.
Only the most foolhardy & callous marketers and their marketing communication agencies can now afford to take consumers, marketing & advertising campaigns, and the firefighting following a crisis for granted.
A useful rule of thumb in these turbulent times can be one that's reflected across cultures, but is easier said than done:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."