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December 2011


Evolutionary Marketing

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I knew I had to start off my blog on this topic – only because I’ve been immersed in studying evolutionary thought for over 20 years and I continue to experience over and over in so many arenas that looking at any topic through the lens of  “evolving” gives it a new slant and opens the door to all different kinds of creative approaches. I really think this is the leading edge thinking of our time.

Whatever you’re looking at, you see it as part of a whole process that started somewhere and is going somewhere and is constantly in motion. Very different from our usual starting point to ending point orientation. That has to be there too otherwise you couldn’t make concrete goals. But an evolutionary approach is much bigger than just that. And because it’s bigger, it brings more dimensions to the table, which brings more possibilities for the project, which brings more creative thinking, which makes everyone evolve in the process, which opens up more possibilities for the whole business, and on and on…

An Evolutionary Marketing approach is one where you address any project – whether it’s launching a business, building a website, refreshing a brand, expanding a traditional marketing program into social media, etc. – within a much bigger perspective of the business, where the business lies in its industry, where the industry lies, where people’s needs are moving, what’s happening in our global society, and where we as a human race are headed. Sound like too much to bite off?  Well, I would say in our fast changing, global, volatile world today, if you want to be succeed, you have to frame everything in the biggest context possible.

I googled “Evolutionary Marketing” before I started writing, and found that my friend Sam Rosen of Thoughtlead and 4-Good Marketing had already posted a blog on this. Touché to you Sam for introducing the term! I want to credit Sam’s great discussion about whether this is just another buzz word or a real direction in marketing. He makes an important point about our responsibility to come to the marketing table, not just with profit/business motives, but with an eye to evolving our values and business practices, which I wholeheartedly agree with:

“’Evolutionary Marketing’ is a term I’m fond of using. It focuses on integrating two areas of marketing: first, understanding how marketing tactics and strategies have evolved over time, and using the best ones in the appropriate places (I’ll elaborate more below); and second, acknowledging that, as marketers–and that doesn’t just mean professional marketers, but also entrepreneurs, thinkers, artists, consultants, and anyone else involved in spreading a message, product, or service–it’s our responsibility to create a better, more conscious future, not simply to cater to the lower impulses of our human nature and go ‘the easy way.’”

One last thing… Evolutionary Marketing by definition has to be constantly changing and evolving, so anyone can jump into the conversation any time and take it forward.