The Entangled Marketing Paradigm: Part I

In this first of three parts, I introduce you to Entangled Marketing as described by marketing gurus Sebastian Jespersen and Stan Rapp.


Advertising is legalized lying – H.G. Wells

Jespersen & Rapp

Stan Rapp pioneered direct marketing at a time when few people understood how to build or use a database. Today, your mother can probably hack one. Sebastian Jespersen is a bleeding edge marketer who grew up in a world built on data. These two visionaries have teamed up to begin codifying a trend that they refer to as Entangled Marketing. Mr. Rapp has the historical perspective and Mr. Jespersen the current one. Together they’re calculating a trajectory into the future.

Available through Amazon Smile, where you can specify a charity to benefit from your purchase. Entangled, see?

In their book, Release the Power of Entangled Marketing™, they don’t invent a new paradigm as much as they describe today’s landscape in which most consumers aren’t aware they’re participating. It’s a bit like explaining water to a fish. How many of us understand the depth to which we are entangled with our smartphones? The book is not an instructional how-to guide. It simply outlines what’s been happening and tickles thoughts on what your brand might achieve. Look at it as a basis for brainstorming.

WHAT IS ENTANGLED MARKETING? • According to Rapp in an interview on the C-Suite Network, “Entangled Marketing is a new business model that leads to an enduring, mutually rewarding relationship in the Internet era”. Jespersen elaborates that entangled marketing goes past the current strategy to engage customers with interesting content through social media and other digital channels. In his view, consumers are bombarded with content throughout their online lives. He says its time for brands to stop marketing to consumers and start marketing with them. The authors use Apple and Amazon as prime examples of Entangled Marketing.

The term “entangled marketing” comes from a synaptic leap Stan Rapp made while reading an article on quantum physics. It references the theory confirmed by observation that two quantum particles, such as photons, are physically entangled even when far apart. An action on one will affect the other regardless of distance. Woody Allen once said he knew two clairvoyants, “One took a bath while the other got clean.” Something like that actually happens at the quantum level. Entangled Marketing creates a similar relationship between consumer and producer.

ENTANGLED MARKETING AND SHARE OF LIFE • A marketing premise that’s been around for a long time has been “Share of Mind” that posits that your brand should be the first one people think of when they need your good or service. When I want a cola drink, I think “Coke” (Sorry, Pepsi). With entangled marketing the new battleground is Share of Life.

How much of your day is wrapped up in Facebook or Google or Apple? Share of Life posits that your brand doesn’t even have to come to mind because it’s woven into the fabric of the consumer’s day. Do you think of “Apple” or “Google” when you reach for your phone? No, you think of who you’re going to call, or what you’re going to read, or how you’re going to set your thermostat. The fact that Apple, Google, or perhaps even Microsoft facilitates any of it is the farthest thing from your mind, and yet you’re bound to the brand.

The point of entangled marketing is to gain share of life.

ACHIEVING ENTANGLEMENT: THINGS TO CONSIDER • The book lays out ideas for developing an entanglement strategy. It discusses various methods by which successful practitioners lure their none-too-willing prey into a mutually beneficial web:

  • Problem Solving: A pest control company built a better mousetrap – literally!
  • Reinvention: A French manufacturer made a tennis racket that collects data.
  • Mobile Gaming: A fast food chain used a game to promote a new drink.
  • Emotion: A feminine hygiene product tapped into young girls’ feelings.
  • Pay-in-Advance: An online retailer sold free shipping on future orders.

Next, the authors present some questions marketers should answer while embarking on an entanglement campaign. Here are their 5Ws:

  1. WHO do you want to attract and retain?
  2. WHAT is of primary concern to those people?
  3. How do you WOW! your audience?
  4. WHERE will you find them?
  5. WHEN do you evaluate your campaign?

The book goes on to detail many real-world examples. It shows how current and emerging technologies are creating entanglement, many of which are available to anyone just for the asking. There are virtually no barriers to entry.

In Part II of this series, I go deeper into a few of their real world examples, plus some other ideas the authors put forth, such as “nonvertising”. I will delve into some of the more esoteric aspects of entangled marketing, including societal implications, as well as ethical and spiritual ones.

In Part III, I intend to outline how small businesses can and do achieve entanglement. There are a couple of business models that have been entangling their customers for centuries, albeit without the Internet. In my view, the business model has to support entanglement first, then technology can enhance it.

Stay tuned. More to come!

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