Ok, let’s just assume you want to have a conversation with your users. Now what? I mean, even if the number of companies that are real on the whole conversation story is surprisingly low, it seems to me that it may still be tough to connect with your users.
If you want to end a conversation with a teenager, just ask, “How was school today?”
If you want to end a conversation with a customer, just ask if you can help.
And this brings to my point of today: can marketing people and advertising people succeed in a world where users control the conversation?
I made marketing my job and I know a lot of cool kids from companies known for their excellence in marketing, as well as from the top advertising agencies. My simple question: can I and these people/companies still lead the way when the user is in control? This people could be very smart, bu can they handle a conversation without controlling it?
Most product managers live inside their brands, They see things in a very biased way. They openly criticize their competition. Geez, they even openly speak of killing their competitors. Would you like to have a conversation with somebody that is evidently biased on the subject of the discussion?
Advertising agencies are no different. Their very business model revolves around speaking for others (would you still read this if I told you that a starving elbonian writes these posts for me? – txs Seth for this as well!) and their operations on the fact that the consumer gets so many messages every day that your creativity has to stand out to be seen/heard/read etc.
So who’s left? Who – in a company – makes his/her living by talking to others, with no control whatsoever on the conversation? Right: salespeople.
Salespeople have to find their way to the client every day. They have to talk with the customer. They have to show they care, they’ll ask you about your son’s tennis tournament. If they’re any good, you will think they really cared, because they genuinely do.
So what do you think? Is sales the new marketing and advertising?