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Chapter 1 | Orbit

From Gutenberg to
Zuckerberg

By Mark Bonchek and Causeit, Inc.

ORBIT is a new language for marketing in a non-linear world.

Traditional models of marketing are outdated. Campaigns, targets and funnels are too linear for a non-linear world. We need a new way to think about engagement in the Digital Age.

ORBIT is a systematic approach to creating Ongoing Relationships Beyond Individual Transactions.
An ORBIT strategy can shift your marketing from:

  • Push to Pull
  • Transaction to Relationships
  • Audience to Community
  • Consumer to Co-Creator
  • Loyalty to Gratitude
  • Promotion to Purpose

A new language for marketing

We need a new model and a new language for marketing in the Digital Age.

We live in a non-linear world. Customers are more connected and empowered. Brand relationships need to be continuous.

The old model of targets, funnels and campaigns is outdated. We need a new model and a new language.

ORBIT is a simple model that solves the complexity of modern marketing.

Learning the language of ORBIT will enable you to achieve extraordinary levels of engagement, differentiation, innovation and loyalty.

Digital disruption

To change how we do marketing, we must first change how we think about communication.

In an age of profound disruption and accelerating change, the landscape of business is forever altered. The maps that used to guide us have become outdated.

In times of great change, it’s not enough to do new things. To get different results, we need to think in new ways. Mental models are deeply embedded assumptions about how we make sense of the world.

  • How we see cause and effect
  • How we get where we are going

To stay relevant, we need to keep our mental models up to date.

Example

Dr. Semmelweis

In the 1840s, the mental model of disease was an imbalance of the four humours like melancholy or bile.

In an Austrian hospital, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis observed that handwashing reduced the mortality rates of patients. He conducted a study and presented the data to his colleagues.

His colleagues thought he was crazy and put him in an asylum. They had no mental model for how something external to the body could create illness.

Twenty years later, Louis Pasteur discovered bacteria. The mental model of disease changed. Handwashing made sense.

We like to say “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But sometimes “I’ll see it when I believe it” is a truer reflection of our behavior.

Communication is changing

Consumers are now co-creators, and mass communication has become mass collaboration.

One-to-many communication

Before the Internet, all media had one thing in common. Books, radio, television, film, magazines and newspapers: all one-to-many.

The same message goes in one direction only: out. Messages are sent to a passive and anonymous audience.

The publisher doesn’t know you are reading the morning newspaper. When you talk back at the TV, the actors can’t hear you.

In a one-to-many world, we were all consumers—of information, entertainment, products and services.

Many-to-many communication

When the Internet came along, everyone became a broadcaster. Audiences were no longer passive. Suddenly, you could comment on a news story—or write your own.

Social media changed the game again. One-to-many became many-to-many. Mass communication became mass collaboration.

People could talk to each other, transforming the audience into a community. Consumers became co-creators.

Gutenberg (the publisher of the first printed Bible) gave way to Zuckerberg (the founder of Facebook).

A new model for communication

Digital media has changed marketing from a monologue to a conversation.

This alters the relationship between individuals and organizations.

Companies tend to focus on what they say to persuade & promote their products. Some companies have begun to listen & learn from the market.

But today, the most important influence is what people say to each other.

The challenge for companies is how to be a part of this conversation—even when you aren’t in the room.

The answer? Learn to enable & empower these connections. This requires you to not only do new things, but to think in new ways.

Brands broadcast to customers

Customers started talking back

Example

Amish barn raising

In a many-to-many world, providing value means supporting community.

The Amish have a tradition for building barns. They don’t hire architects or construction companies. They gather as a community to put up the building together.

Digital media has given people the tools to build their own barns.

We don’t choose restaurants based on what a critic writes in the paper. Instead, we look to reviews and the shared wisdom of people like us. The same is true for products, movies, music, travel and services.

How do you market to a barn raising?

By serving the community. Making lunch. Sharpening tools. Lending a hand.

Exercise

New Model of Communication

Think of major communication and customer relationship initiatives, and decide which type of communication each involves. Notice which types of communication are well represented, and where there are opportunities to do more.

What is your brand currently doing in each of these areas? For each type, assign a percentage of your total communication effort.

Persuade + Promote
Listen + Learn
Connect + Collaborate
Enable + Empower

Recap

ORBIT is a new language for marketing in a non-linear world.

To change how we do marketing, we must first change how we think about communication.

With many-to-many communication, consumers are now co-creators, and mass communication has become mass collaboration.

Digital media has changed marketing from a monologue to a conversation.

In a many-to-many world, providing value means supporting community.

Go deeper

Read "From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: The Transformation of Business" by Mark Bonchek

Read "The Most Successful Brands Focus on Users, Not Customers" by Mark Bonchek

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