The market cares. Deeply.

But not if all is great with what a marketer has to offer. Probably not even if the goods and services are okay.

But if things are bad, then the market starts caring about making a great fuss of a brand, negatively.

The thing is that it’s the marketeers lot to get customers to care in a good way. Yet that desired passion is distinctly absent across the majority of brands. There are conspicuous exceptions, such as Apple.

What’s more conspicuous is that the list of Australia’s big marketing spenders does not contain a brand famous for a loyal and passionate following. What’s going wrong?

My opinion is that those charged with marketing are steeped in traditional approaches, comfortable in meeting established metrics. Hence our billboards are glaring, radio and TV programs are interrupted and letter boxes filled with junk – all the product of marketing. Even PR teams will celebrate an editorial taking pride of place in their key publication.

Yet the next omnibus will reveal that people aren’t passionate about the brand. It’s simply not of interest to them.

Yet the human condition is to be passionate – be it sports teams, hobbies, lifestyles, children, interests, the list goes on. People from every walk of life surround themselves with others that share their passions, creating communities. And people trust those that drive their passions and those communities.

And that’s where marketing needs to be – right in amongst those communities that are passionate. Talking their language, fuelling their passions and realising their desires. Marketers should not seek a community as an audience, but as an authority – learning from them about their passions. And then, very gently, seek their permission to become involved in their passion. Ask, not tell. Heed, not just listen.

Marketing needs to align the characteristics of the brand with the motivators of the community it wants to be a part of. Then the marketer needs to learn how the brand should behave in that community. Following that, the marketer needs to offer something to that specific community, thereby gaining acceptance. And finally, with good humour and integrity, become an active member of that community – thereby tapping into the care factor.

Then that specific market will care for the brand. Deeply.

As marketers we have lots to forget. And much wisdom to gain to replace what we’ve forgotten. I, for one, will undertake to forget readership and circulation figures. But instead, learn where exactly people pursue their passions.