Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Looking at some news over the last days, one might realize that the concept of “Volatility” has reached a new height of popularity. The stock market shows a daily up and down of stock value as rarely before. The polls for the upcoming election show a dramatic move over the last three or four weeks than is rather unusual. Sarah Palin’s perception has changed from the savior of John McCain’s campaign to a negative asset within a few weeks. And some consumer goods companies report a dramatic shift of consumer’s purchase behavior, ranging from sometimes up to 50% decline over the previous year. 

What’s happening? Voters, Stock Holders, and Consumers are changing their minds and their behavior in such a rapid manner that is unprecedented. People seem to become more uprooted and undecided. The underlying elements of this change are:

  • Accelerated Speed of any shared information leading to a more rapid herd behavior
  • Overall Lost of Trust in and Loyalty to most institutions and companies
  • Decline of behavioral rituals that gives a structural foundation to people’s lives 

This reflects a huge challenge for marketers. Successful marketing is becoming a more and more a vast changing and adapting discipline that barely keep us with fast changing sentiments of consumers. It is getting more difficult to maintain a long-term and sustainable marketing advantage. One might celebrate last week’s successful marketing while already thinking of what to launch next week. 

We will be obligated to find a few new marketing rules in this new society and consumer world of volatility. The previous rules of loyalty and highly established behavioral patterns are disappearing. 


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