Given this unprecedented year, wouldn’t it be ideal to have a resource that leverages extensive research on today’s consumer to provide actionable takeaways for marketers & insights professionals? As luck would have it, Stephen Denny, a competitive strategy + marketing consultant with decades of experience, just co-authored this very book: Unfiltered Marketing: 5 Rules to Win Back Trust, Credibility, and Customers in a Digitally Distracted World.

We connected with Stephen on the serendipitous timing of his book release, recent pivots he’s helped steer for technology clients, and his experiences partnering with Prodege. 

Fittingly, Stephen’s first chapter is titled “Seeking Control in an Out-of-Control World”. He expands: “As the manuscript for Unfiltered Marketing was finished just before the pandemic hit us, the publisher asked if we needed to make any changes prior to publication – and we couldn’t think of anything more that needed to be said.  The key for brands here is to embrace this idea that consumers are living in an age of collapsing trust – particularly when it comes to how technology companies are using our data. In an age of pandemic, we truly are feeling that events are spinning out of our control. It’s up to us as brand stewards to push as much control of the user experience into the hands of our consumers as possible – from information on demand to do-it-yourself tools to simply putting policies and procedures in place that provide a sense of closure and over-communication. Find a way to build trust.” 

When asked to pinpoint the most valuable takeaway this global research yields for marketers, Stephen pegs technology as the single most profound cultural driver in the world today. “It’s changed how we relate to the brands we buy, the digital footprints we maintain, and how we approach work in this suddenly remote-by-default environment we now live in. The biggest problem we see with marketers grasping this concept today is that any discussion of ‘technology’ quickly devolves into a conversation about marketing stacks – not the fact that consumers themselves have irrevocably changed. Technology has changed how our brains work. Take our second major macro trend, which captures the ‘shift to raw.’ If we’re operating in a low trust environment, the only thing we now trust is ourselves – our own eyes, ears, and judgment. We want the raw feed – the data, the video, the livestream. Grasp this and our jobs as marketers are turned on their heads.”

Stephen Denny

As a business consultant, Stephen has navigated his clients through some notable shifts in strategy. “The biggest pivot we’ve seen is the flattening of the client-customer relationship into a purely digital setting. We can’t see each other face to face in real life anymore, so it’s our job to find ways to interject humanity into what can easily become a remote, sterile relationship.With several of our clients in the technology space, this has been a time of explosive growth. The challenge for them is how to scale in an intelligent fashion. The tide will eventually roll back out and the decisions they made this year will dictate whether they’ve reached a new level of stickiness and loyalty or whether they’ll roll back into the shallows.”

Finally, Stephen takes some time to discuss how Prodege has been a trusted partner.

“Prodege has been a partner of ours now for many years, handling projects from big and complex down to the fastest market pulses possible. The company has always been extremely responsive to timing and has been a great ally. With Unfiltered Marketing coming out after so many years of work together, I thought it would be smart to highlight to as many research and insights professionals as possible what can be done with some smartly designed questions.” 

Want to get a sneak peek of the opening pages of Unfiltered Marketing just ahead of the book’s November 1st release? Click here!

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