Granny manners & The Future of Marketing

Granny manners & The Future of Marketing

Remember your grandma's manners?

Elders have always had a distinct etiquette.

If you're like me, you probably remember tensions between your teenage self, and your parents or grandparents.

This friction was generational.

But the world speeds up, and notable changes in culture, often driven by technology are unfolding at much faster pace, in front of our eyes.

And it applies to business, specifically marketing, communications and sales.

It's a vast topic — for long campfire chats.

So, let me just tease you with a key takeaway from my recent processings.

If I generalize, it's not for blindness to nuance, but rather, to pick up a pattern in the noise and arrive at insight.


Playbooks are dead.

Best practices are trash.

Marketing that works, will be unscripted, unpolished, personal and casual.

And it will be relational.

At least for a while.

And here's why.

Trend #1 — the imperfect

There's a caffee on the corner that we're friends with. The place is casual, with clear amount of love put into tiniest details. Handwriting and handcraft everywhere. My wife and partner opens a portraiture exhibition there. The portraits are so incredibly human, but also — professionally produced. Same goes for the poster and invitations. And here comes the glitch — they wouldn't like the poster in there. Why?

It took a while to process, but the conclusion was blind and obvious: it's too perfect. Too well-crafted. It looks like content produced by these big brands. Not an artist.

And this perfectly illustrates a broader trend I've been observing for a good few years. Here's the society readout between the lines.

Brands do marketing professionally.

Well produced commercials, amazing photography, hollywood-grade anthem films, glossy paper.

People don't trust brands anymore.

So they became avert to things that look too good.

Today, they like it rough, unpolished and casual.

Polished things = brands.

Unpolished things = humans.

This has been going on for a while. Tracing back to the origins - I'd say it started around 2015-2018 with maturity of social media.

Trend #2 — pressure and saturation

It was around 2015, and we started marketing our studio in a systematic way, across multiple channels. In the era of mass-emailed ads, we were among the earliest adopters of personalized outreach — an approach dubbed 'cold email' or 'drip campaigns' not much later.

There were no playbooks.

There were some practices coming from a lead gen agency we tested, but we turned it upside down instantly, arriving at a whopping 80% reply rates.

This stuff was new.

Went under the radar.

But a decade passed, and the amount of AI-accelerated sales emails hitting your mailbox daily, makes the Moore's law look pale.

Most of these emails look the same.

They run on best practices.

They follow a playbook.

It takes you 20 milliseconds to hit 'delete' just glancing at the subject.

People smell a rat for a mile.

Is it just email?

You do the same for cold calls, outdoor, tv or internet ads. They've become as transparent as air, and you only realize how much energy it costs you to keep the filters on, when you hit the sack in the evening.

I'm sure you saw a LinkedIn timeline at least once. There's a certain kind of people that make up a pattern. They have "optimized profiles" and posts ticking all the boxes of marketing guru playbooks. Their growth hacks earn them an instant ban or unfollow, at least from me.

What is it that's left? People that are more human, muted colors, quieter tones, and superlatives edited out.

I have a strong take on that. Mind the caveats — I think we arrived at the moment where e-mail as a new business channel is dead. And so is social media.

If not just yet today — surely tomorrow.

If it works, it's an exception.

Business will get more personal.

New business will become local. Back again.

Trend #3 — shorting circuits

This one is less obvious and takes wider perspective to notice. But let's try.

20y ago the Internet marketing was big. You want to ride the wave? You need a website.

Then came e-commerce.

Then came social media.

Some people still think in terms of putting an offer on their comprehensive corporate website.

But the world has moved on.

There are folks that are social-native.

They understand that convenience and the flow of timeline scrolling is a strong track, and trying to interrupt this pattern is just inefficient.

I'm not telling that you, a founder or an owner of a company in tech, creative, or whatever other sector, that you should go to TikTok and seek a 7 figure B2B contract there (although as crazy as it sounds, that could actually work). Far from it.

What I mean, is that sometimes we tend to lean onto the ways of doing things that go round in circles, instead of packing a punch right in the face.

Seek for shorting circuits.

Stuck in a long bidding process? Go for a coffee with someone.

Pitching? Go around.

It's not the wisdom that's novel.

It's the context.


These are just a few of trends shaping the direction ahead. There's more.

I am definitely betting on being more human, more casual, less engineered and more raw approach to relationship building, sales, marketing, or personal branding, if you will.

Have some depth. Don't trim yourself to cliche roles. Business communication is not business-only anymore. If it is, it becomes flat.

That's exactly why, over the last few years I cured myself of unconditional perfectionism. It's just not relevant anymore and making more harm than good.

That's also why when I built a new website for my new advisory path just a few days back, I included photographs of myself playing saxophone — something that is important, and integral to who I am. Even if it seems to look way off and confusing, when viewed through a lense of your expectations of a professional advisor website.

This sticks out. Not necessarily making me hard to ignore (that's a different approach, that we're also quite fed up with already), but rather welcomes you to a world that's a little bit less sterile, less curated, and more in line with real life.

The new world is causal.

And so is the world of B2B marketing.

Just go listen to some TikTok folks or Gen-Z out there.

Stay prolific, till the next one.

Thinking bigger, seeing farther, making impact. Insights into building and evolving creative businesses and B2B brands. Coming at you from "the fast thinker", Patrick Kizny. #b2b #branding #marketing #creative