People are a lot like water, they’re always looking for the path of least resistance, and marketing trends are no different. There’s an evolution that’s natural and easy to identify if you look for the indicators. Whether it’s better societally is debatable. But one thing’s for sure, it’s always easier.
Historically, companies like Ford, Microsoft, and Amazon have become the powerhouses they are because they understand how to do two things:
- Create products and services that people want/need.
- Be indispensable.
Both reasons listed are the result of an ability to understand how consumers live and what motivates their decisions. The common denominator is pretty simple really, people want Easy. They want everything from the moment they wake up in the morning until the time they go to bed at night to make their lives’ easier. This works for both B2C and B2B.
Henry Ford obviously built cars so people could get from point A to point B more easily—he saw a need. And in the process, he developed the assembly line so it would be easier for workers to put them together, increasing profitability along the way. He truly understood the value in Easier.
Similarly, Microsoft developed products and services that revolutionized the way we do business by simplifying the way we think and communicate. Things got easier, a lot easier and Microsoft’s founders and shareholders got really rich in the process.
Which brings us to Amazon. Amazon has a pretty straight-forward business model: provide people with everything they could ever want, make the transaction simple, and deliver it quickly. Amazon really knows Easy.
Now comes the interesting part: Unlike Ford or Microsoft, Amazon’s marketing is as guerrilla as guerrilla gets. They are everywhere you live but never in an ad you’ll see. They have evolved marketing from yesterday’s ads to today’s reality. Their advertising is real life. Through acquisition, they have inserted themselves into all aspects of society. They don’t need to advertise, you are already using them. They own IMDB.com, the internet movie database, Alexa.com, the analytics turned entertainment/shopping provider, and Zappos, the shoe retailer. (Yes, Zappos and Amazon are often debated at which is the better source, but they are one and the same).
Amazon has essentially completed the circle of Easiness. They are water. They have found the path of least resistance. Their marketing is who they are and the products they sell. In a sense, their marketing is you. Your life is possible because of Amazon and Amazon is possible because of you.
Does all marketing need to reach this level of enlightenment to be successful? Of course not. But what it does suggest is that there is extreme value in Easy. Making it easier for customers to live their lives through the products and services you provide will create a new level of loyalty. And it’s at this point that marketing can give you the freedom to drive longer-term objectives, both business and personal. So, as it turns out, it really does pay to be easy.