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This morning I handed in my diploma thesis to get my college degree in Marketing, Social Psychology and Sociology! After six month of writing my thesis and five years of studying at the beautiful University of Mannheim I am sitting now at a corner of my life with a hundred possible paths to turn into. It’s an exciting and interesting moment in my life and I am truly enjoying it. But after all those stressful past months I am just bored for today. That’s why I thought to myself: “Why no Blog?” And this Blog can only be about NEXT STEPS! Today was my last day of college. I should write about my next steps as I go along in my life from this day on. But only this? Wouldn`t that just be simply a diary that I put on the internet? I don`t know if my live is that interesting. That’s why this Blog is about the Next Steps of the fields I am interested in with some minor autobiographical touches. This Blog is a about the Innovation and Future of Marketing, Social Psychology and Sociology as I go along in my life STEP by STEP. But I will broaden the definitions of those interests a little bit. Yes, just like that! I understand the following three topics not independently from each other. I try to describe the intersection and interdependence between them while I give, what I think of, the best practices and good examples (my “Likes”) of those three sciences.

NEXT STEPS MARKETING: As everybody knows Marketing and Advertising has changed a lot over the last decade due to the internet or technology and innovation in general and a fed up attitude of the people towards the traditional old school marketing. Traditional marketing was long time a one way communication that needed to interrupt the recipient in whatever he or she was doing at that moment in order to generate primarily awareness. Companies basicially just pushed the informations into several marketing channels and the recipient had no influence on which information was when (time) and where (location) pushed towards them. People were more and more fed up with that traditional marketing and the technological opportunities from today made it in some occasions even easier to avoid a lot of those traditional marketing actions (e.g TeBo). But on the other hand does the digital world and new (mobile) technologies also give marketers a whole new world of interesting possibilities and opportunities to do marketing. First time in history has the marketing of today the chance  to engage into a personalized two-way communication (dialogue) and interaction with the individual. This Engagement-Marketing is premised upon: transparency – interactivity – immediacy – facilitation – engagement – co-creation – collaboration – experience and trust in a two-way flow between the individual and corporation/brand. In the overloaded world from today this marketing should in the best case generate some kind of additional value/utility/purpose and be relevant/enriching to that individual. It needs to intergrate and not interupt. The Smartphone Apps (Mobile Marketing in general) and the possibilities that come with them are one good (out of many) example for this. A lot of them make live easier and more effective  – they often possess relevence or serve a purpose and bring some kind of additional value/utility for the user. This value can for example be “Time-Money-Saving”, “the optimization of certain daily routines and processes” , but also “Fun” , “Social-Environmental Responsibility” or simply “Participation” (and countless more) bring some degree of utility and value to peolple.  New Marketing should do exactly this in order to stand out from the Mass-Marketing and be effective – RELEVANCE is Key!!! In the best case should people talk about a certain campaign or action (and make it even viral). Of course this is not easy, but marketers should have at least the ambition. Further is it getting very hard to lie or talk up crappy product. In a world of Facebook, Twitter or social recommendations in general marketer can not just lie like they want to. People will find out somehow. Nowadays companies need to walk the marketing talk. In the Blog of Amir Kassaei of DDB Berlin he describes 10 Points which in my opinion summarize pretty well the changes (or revolution) that occurred in Marketing over the last years:

01.  Relevance beats awareness.

02.  Treat people as Friends not as Consumers or Target Groups.

03.  Content is more important than Media.

04.  Real Innovation needs Creative Business Consultants.

05.  Feed needs instead of creating new ones.

06.  Marketing is about product Innovation and not pushing sales.

07.  The best Advertising does not look like Advertising.

08.  The hardest Competition comes from the overloaded world.

09.  Digital is the new infrastructure.

10.  Brands are made by People not by Experts.

I think one point is missing in this list. Well I guess it belongs to point 9, but I thing it deserves to be mentioned in this introduction seperatly. And this point  is Mobile.  Mobile is a total game changer. Tomi T. Ahonen one of the experts and author of many books and blogs about the mobile industry says: “Mobile is changing everything! Everything! Every single facet of life, every single industry in existence, everything will be changed by mobile. Retail, banking, insurance, travel, entertainment, education, health, government, farming, fishing, forestry; everything! This is a magical technology” And of course it changes Marketing and Advertising (and Sociology and Social Psychology).

In this Blog I think of Marketing in this new way. I want to write about strategies, projects, campaigns or simply things I see that I think is good up-to-date marketing. Let`s see what I can find!

NEXT STEPS SOCIOLOGY: In this Blog I define Sociology as the science of society and everything in it. I am very interested in subcultures, scenes, milieus, trends, innovative people, events, design and so on. Especially the mash-up and intersection of two separate things I find very interesting (-for Marketing). As I write about whatever I like, see or experience that day in our global society I try to make the connection to Marketing and think about how to use it in a modern interactive Marketing campaign.  But besides that I anyway think there is obvious a certain dependence between modern Marketing (or better Technology) and Sociology. Social Media plays a huge role in modern Marketing. Brian Solis defines Social Media as: “Social Media is, at its most basic sense, a shift in how people discover, read, and share news and information and content. It’s a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologue (one to many) into dialog (many to many.)”. Keeping that in mind, I am sure, I will find many aspects in which modern Marketing (Technology) influences and probably changes questions of the sociological matter. We will see how succesfull I will be!

NEXT STEPS SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY: You cannot anymore just focus on plane numbers, sales, frequencies, outcomes and such. Nowadays more than ever Marketers need to realize that we are all humans with human needs, human behavior and human thinking. Word of mouth and the notion that people function as brand ambassadors is and will become even more relevant in the future marketing world. Treat people as your friends. It is of great importance to understand what’s going on in the recipients head and how he or she is influenced by the circumstances of a situation. How do humans generate attitudes? How can we change attitudes and be persuasive? What factors determinate (Buying-) behavior? What role plays social recommendation vs. own attitude vs. past behaviour? What generates and adds the real value or utility for people? What exactly are needs, norms, values, preferences etc.? Those and many more are question of social psychology and to understand their answers are of fundamental importance if your intention is to do good and effective marketing. My intention is not to teach certain theories, definitions and such, but as I write this Blog I try to focus also on the psychological side of marketing. In the end We are all humans!

I write this Blog mostly for myself! If somebody reads it, that would be very cool, but primarily it is just for me. First, it gives me a platform to collect my thoughts and stuff that I like – e.g. in my inspiration area. Writing it will probably even change or improve my thinking and preferences. We will see! Secondary I can practice my English. As you can tell I am no native speaker of the English language. I am German. This Blog gives me the chance to improve my English. Last but not least it gives me the opportunity to present myself to a future employer. As I said in the beginning of this post I just finished the University and I will start to apply for jobs pretty soon. This fact maybe also means that I do not have the major extensive experiences of real world work life and in many posts of this Blog this naive thinking will probably be crucially obvious. But cut me some slack.  If you like something then just do it. Right?

There is no better way of getting to know me – well besides actually talking to me and hang around with me – then reading this Blog!

Ok, let’s get started!

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