Build a relationship, garner trust and a customer will never leave. Sounds pretty easy!? In fact we have been talking about it since the dawn of time (social media time anyway) with the Cluetrain Manifesto that started in 1999 and identified that the Internet has forced marketing to be more about conversations than messages. Since then we have Valeria Maltoni the Conversation Agent (a past moderator here), a great book called Naked Conversations written by Shel Israel (an upcoming moderator) and Robert Scoble and countless other examples. So why is it that companies still market via campaigns and agencies still win business with this approach?
A classic example of movement for the sake of motion? Possibly. Consider all the money and effort that goes into concept, strategy, creative, execution of marketing campaigns. Brands spend all that time creating a pitch to consumers, introducing themselves time and time again, selling stuff to unwilling customers then when it’s done, they see how much product was sold, cut off the pitch to those customers and prospects then rinse and repeat the whole daunting process all over. So where is the conversation part of this we have been talking about now for at least 10 years? Not the cordial, “wave to each other at a cocktail party” conversation but the relationship conversation that lasts for months, years or longer? The conversation where you find out what each other needs and wants (notice I said both), you know, a real relationship not a manufactured one.
So what does that look like and how do marketers break out of the campaign mentality? Think about the impact of this scenario: A company with multiple brands has a consolidated marketing department focused on customer relationships. They are in charge of courting the consumer and understanding how they live, work and play. From that relationship, the company understands what products (Brands) can help that customer and how they add value to that consumer’s life. Then the Brands become stewards for helping those customers buy the things they need (considering people like to buy things yet do not like to be sold). The company pours their monies into acquiring a customer once then facilitating their purchases across the various products. This is very different than what happens today as each Brand pays to acquire the same customers over and over across all brands independently. This may be some utopian dream to many but the speed of communicating and the ubiquity of access to communicate is forever changing the old norms and customers have left that station. Companies need to figure out how to adapt and soon.
We are very happy to have Tom Martin moderating this topic on tuesday. Tom spends a lot of time in this space covering all aspects of branding, marketing and social media and brings a creative approach to his work. He will help us work through this topic and facilitate a great learning opportunity for all of us. The topic and questions will be:
Stop Campaigning and Start Conversing – The New Marketing Paradigm
1) What is the difference between a marketing campaign and a customer conversation?
2) How do agencies have to change in order to create conversations instead of campaigns?
3) What are some examples of brands or agencies that have succeeded in making the jump from campaign to conversation?
The chat will take place Tuesday 11/24 at noon EST. We will use the #sm35 for the event
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