A system of any kind survives through feedback. What feels/sounds/smells/tastes/looks right. Or wrong. Or not particularly either way. Feedback helps us to learn, evolve and interact safely with the world around us. That means that getting good quality feedback about what’s actually going on is crucial. In fact, much of what concerns us as business owners is how to gather feedback effectively and act on it appropriately.
Marketing isn’t feedback. Although you can use it that way. I don’t wear fashion, but I do like to know ‘what’s going on’. A twice-yearly trawl through marketing materials – magazines, shop windows, a look at what’s around and at what people are actually wearing – keeps me up to date.
Social media isn’t feedback. It’s marketing. Increasingly it’s geared to tell us what we want to hear, to entrench us in our worldviews, intensify our outrage, because that keeps us on the platform, there to see the marketing that pays for it.
‘The news’ as we mostly know it isn’t really feedback either. It’s also marketing. Designed to sell a newspaper or a news channel, or a worldview. And it gets more like social media every day.