Tech marketing trapped in Plato’s Cave

An avatar of the author

Neil Stoneman

14. 10. 2008 | 1 min read

Tech marketing trapped in Plato’s Cave

1 mins left

Get the newsletter

Raw, unfiltered, too-hot-for-Wordpress B2B marketing insights, straight to your inbox, every month.

Will we ever learn?

The hilarious spoof of Microsoft’s attempt to re-label the iPod packaging appears to focus on a modern marketing issue.  But Plato, the pick of Greece’s golden generation of thought leaders, first identified the problem almost 2500 years ago.

In Plato’s Cave, a first generation white paper, poor souls are imprisoned and chained with a restricted view of the outside world.  They quickly give the shadows and echoes they encounter their own distorted meaning.  There is, for them, no life or reality outside the cave.

This all might sound a little Greek to you.  But there are two relevant B2B marketing messages that link the clip with the allegory:

1) Firms are caves.  They have an entrenched, but generally distorted, view of the outside world based on shadows and echoes of information.  Without regular research, we forget that things can be done differently and more effectively elsewhere.

2) Firms like caves.  And that’s a big mistake when the market outside is fast, futuristic and unsentimental.  We must be confident enough to challenge entrenched internal processes and cultures to deliver customer friendly output.

The Microsoft clip shows why process driven presentation won’t get customers drooling.  The film makers, believed to be an internal Microsoft team, used competitive comparison to educate the organisation where it was all going wrong.  We like it.

Published in:

  • b2b-marketing

  • change

  • marketing

  • messages

  • Microsoft

  • thought leader

  • white paper

Enjoyed this article?
Take part in the discussion

Opt into our crap

We will send the latest stuff written just for B2B content marketers exactly like you. Sound good?

illustration of a an envolope

Related blog/content

How to break free from the benchmark trap

If you’re turning to industry benchmarks to set your performance goals – make sure you’re asking these two questions.

Agustin Rejon | 06. 09. 2023


There are no comments yet for this post. Why not be the first?

Leave a comment/reply

Hey look: a teeny-tiny cookie request. Would you mind? It’d help us out. Click here to read our privacy policy to see why. Or hit “customize” if you’re fancy like that.