I had lunch with Greg Verdino, that self-deprecatingly proclaimed "z-list marketing blogger with an a-list attitude" (hey Greg, I think you're more a-list material, if that means anything) who was in town for a Forrester conference. I think he's really onto something with a recent entry Are you at war with your customers?
He asks if you're viewing marketing as us vs. them rather than us and them, using marketing-speak or using customers' language. This is a fundamental concept that so many of us marketers miss, because...because - well, frankly, I don't know why. The point is, marketing is all about conversations and building lasting relationships. But how to best put that into practice?
I think it's summed up best by the words of the great philosopher, statesman and orator Cicero:
"If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings and speak my words."
It doesn't end with writing copy. You need to think about how your brand fits into various channels. Blogging isn't appropriate for every company. Companies new to the social media space have been known to jump on ideas without thinking things through, utttering "We've got to have a MySpace page!" or "How can we promote our video on YouTube?"
Sorry, it doesn't work that way. It harkens back to transparency. If you're joining an existing social network simply to try to get some quick hits, it's going to backfire on you. They'll smell you from a mile away. Companies that truly get it will:
- Understand social media tools
- Learn to listen - truly listen - to the marketplace
- Participate in a manner that shows they're responsive to the market and willing to join the conversation, not simply "tell and sell."
- Lather, rinse, repeat