It appears P&G CMO Jim Stengel (or his speechwriter) read the Cluetrain Manifesto, just prior to his day-two opening keynote at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference. He said:
Let’s stop thinking about consumers and start thinking about people. When you think about consumers as people, you do things differently. I believe that difference is critical to our success in this new world where it’s people, the individuals who have more choice, more control and more power than ever before. When we think about consumers as people, it completely changes our perspective. We market to consumers, we target them. We listen to people, we strive to understand their needs. Consumers are a generic group usually defined by a set of demographics. People are individuals with hopes, dreams and fears. We observe consumers, we interact with people. We deliver benefit messages to consumers, we talk with people. I truly believe this is more than semantics. When we think about consumers as people we’re making a shift in our thinking…a shift that makes us more empathetic…a shift that makes us more in touch…and, ultimately, a shift that helps us make a difference in their lives. If we can do all of that and leverage it collectively as an industry, with the ANA as a powerful voice, we’ll be relevant to the people we aim to serve through our brands and services. We’ll be important to people. We’ll earn their trust. And we’ll walk into this new age of glory together.
Stengel should’ve concluded with a tactical, achievable mandate to the thousand or so marketers in the room: Actually read the Cluetrain. Make it your Bible.