Friday, April 12, 2013

Power to the People

It's time for marketing to get real(time)

 Millions of dollars are spent creating and maintaining a perfect brand. Like Andre Agassi used to say: “Image is everything.” But in our always-on, easily-connected, real-time media world, perfection doesn’t fly. Nowadays, the public’s BS meter is so fine-tuned that perfection registers as fraud. It’s time to lose the wig!

 Real-time marketing must take chances—or at least feel like it is. As soon as companies resort to corporate speak (dynamic! innovative!), most people tune out. And after months of stagnant audience growth or no obvious sales boost, many firms simply stop social marketing efforts all together. This is shortsighted, wrong and dangerous. Traditional marketing’s power is waning.

The Yelp Effect
We’ve evolved into a world where a positive review from one unpaid online influencer is worth more than a million-dollar traditional ad-spend.

Many smart companies are aware of this. For example, Microsoft feeds early information to people they’ve identified as influencers. In turn, these people spread the word through their network.

Establishing these strong, trusted relationships requires hard work and risk—something real-time media lends itself to and traditional marketing simply doesn’t. There’s no conversation with traditional and without conversation, there’s no relationship.

Like inbound marketing guru Seth Godin says, you can no longer market to the anonymous masses. You can only market to willing participants. Make real connections and it’s fairly simple: Because of the networking effect, if you find ten people who love, trust and respect you--you’ve won.

Your idea spreads faster than you could ever imagine, and best of all they WANT to hear from you. You’ve become indispensable—every marketer’s dream.

Pobody’s Nerfect
To have the best shot, hire smart people to run your real-time marketing program and then get out of the way. Let them bring humanity to the work. Will there be mistakes? Absolutely. Not everyone will have positive things to say about you or your product. And…that’s…OK. (Thanks, Stuart Smalley!)

Think about the people you enjoy being around in your life. Is it the fake people? Those who claim to be perfect? No, of course not--you respect and build relationships with the honest ones.

Bring something real and we’ll tell you why your product, service, message, etc. does or doesn’t work. Let us fall in love with you and we’ll shout it to the world!

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