OPTIMideas believes that marketing is a conversation.

In 1999 four experts on business and communication published a website — and subsequently a book — called The Cluetrain Manifesto. In it, they postulated what impact the internet would have on traditional business thinking and practices.

Regarding marketing, they wrote:

It’s time we stopped thinking of marketing as a one-way propaganda campaign.

Being talked to, preached at, or lectured to by those trying to win our business is generally felt as annoying, not persuasive. As clients, we don’t respond to conventional, one-way, “packaged” marketing because it doesn’t answer the questions we have when we are trying to buy, nor tell us what we need to know.

If you want to win my business, give me the chance to talk to you, person-to-person, about my needs, wishes, and wants. Make it easy and comfortable for me to share my secrets. In short, if you really want my business, let’s talk; let’s have a conversation.

There’s nothing conceptual or special in our use of the term “conversation.” We mean it literally, the way we all use the word in everyday speech.

The Cluetrain Manifesto