Childbirth, Beer, Louis Pasteur & Online Marketing

beer_photo_draught_pintEvery day we are hearing more and more about how marketing and online marketing are changing and you may be thinking, “Oh great another blog about ‘engagement” but I promise you I will NOT bore you with any marketing ‘jargon’ or passed around fluff.  What I do want to share is that although we are inundated daily with the truth that things are definitely changing and if we are to survive in business we better make some shifts as well I am still seeing so many businesses and entrepreneurs clinging to the ‘old school’ ways and getting mad that things aren’t working.  As I see this on an almost daily basis it reminded of a very relevant story from medical history.

During the early 1800’s practicing doctors and physicians knew nothing at all of the unseen world of germs and micro-organisms and nearly 1 in 6 women died during child birth (wow, right?) and doctors could never get a handle on why this happened so regularly.  It’s actually quite extraordinary to note that a doctor’s day would start with a trip to the morgue to perform autopsies and exam the dead bodies from the previous day.  After this the doctor would, without washing his hands or changing his coat, head into the birthing area and assist in child births and deliveries.  Crazy, huh? During this time it was actually a sign of status and success to have the dirtiest and bloodiest coat as it symbolized a great surgeon who was very busy.  Unbelievable, right?  But wait it gets even better.

During this time a man named Louis Pasteur (from whom we get the term ‘pasteurization’) arose with a very unconventional idea that the cause of all disease and sickness could be traced back to a ‘germ’ or ‘micro-organism’.  Real unconventional, right?  Because this idea was brand new and flew in the face of all medical discovery up to that time his colleagues highly opposed him and one was quoted as saying,

“I am afraid that the experiments you quote, M. Pasteur, will turn against you. The world into which you wish to take us is really too fantastic.”  La Presse, 1860

Despite the criticism and sharp opposition Dr. Pasteur was able to test and prove his theory and therefore completely the world of medicine.

Time To Make a Shift

Now looking back at this it is almost unbelievable to think that these doctors were so ignorant and naïve to what seems so clear, right?  Even after the testing and evidence mounted up many of his colleagues still refused to believe his theories.  So how does this apply to marketing, Mike?  Calm down, I’m getting there. 🙂

You see marketing used to be all about ‘you’ and what you ‘do’ like listing of your professional resume of accomplishments and impressive skill set almost showcasing your abilities or products sort of like this symbol of great status (like the coats of those doctors) and it used to work.  I can’t tell you how many websites I visit or Facebook ads I see that sound something like this, “We’re the premier leader in XYZ  with over 20 years’ experience serving our clients.”  REALLY?  Who the frickin’ heck cares that you’re the ‘premier leader’ or you have ’20 years’ experience’ or whatever.  How does that benefit me, the potential customer?  If you want their business they have to see the benefit! But it’s like these businesses are standing there in their bloody surgical coats staring in the face of Dr. Pasteur and his newly proven ideas refusing to make the shift.  Hello!!!

Connections Are the New Currency…

Have you noticed the shift? Impersonal and old school sales and marketing tactics just don’t work today.  Prospects are people… they’re looking for connections and a sense of community.  It’s no longer about how much or how well you can market, but it’s about you’re resonating in the hearts of real people.

The very core and center of everything Robin and I teach and believe about marketing is; “Marketing isn’t about ‘tactics’… it’s about understanding people…” Simple. Yet profound. Profound because it flies in the face of much of what you hear out there…

In wrapping up I wanted to leave you with an incredible example of a company that has completely broken the rules in their industry and have demonstrated a real ‘Louis Pasteur’ spirit in their latest commercial.  Click below to watch Guinness Beer’s amazing display of marketing genius that really connects with real people. (grab a tissue because it’s a real tear jerker).


Entrepreneurs can either be like those stiff (and foolish) doctors refusing to make shifts and move into the uncharted or they can be the Louis Pasteurs of today.  Which one will you be?


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