Upstream Marketing Overview
There’s an old joke about a man searching in the dark, on his hands and knees under a streetlight, looking through the grass. A passerby stops and asks what he’s looking for, and the man replies, “The keys to my car”. Being helpful, the passerby joins in the search. After some time, with no success, the passerby asks whether the man is certain that he dropped the keys near the lamppost. “No,” is the reply, “I lost the keys somewhere across the street.” “Why look here?” asks the surprised and irritated helper. “The light is much better here,” the man responds.
If one thing is clear from my years of management consulting it is this: most organizations search for growth in all the wrong places – thinking an ad campaign, a new brand identity, a digital marketing program or other effort is going to drive sustainable growth. Many CEOs, business leaders, and marketing experts overemphasize downstream marketing, ignoring the power of upstream marketing in driving growth.
The purpose of this book is to change that perspective and provide the principles, tools, and techniques to improve any organization’s business condition. This book introduces the concept of upstream marketing, defines it, and establishes a new framework, drawing on the core principles of insight, identity, and innovation.
Importantly, these three principles are universal and should apply to any organization, regardless of industry, company size, or geography. So, whether you are a small business owner, an executive in an established company, on the board of a non-profit organization, a student of marketing, or just interested in understanding the concept of upstream marketing, you should benefit from what’s described here.