Content marketing and relationships with customers – what can we learn from dating?

Dr. Chatty
The other day a friend of mine made me aware of the video below. It’s quite funny, very much ‘tongue in cheek’ and worth a watch. In short, it compares how using good content marketing techniques can help blokes be more successful when chatting up girls.

If you can’t see the video follow this link here.

Note: the video is part of a promotional campaign for The International Content Marketing Summit 2013 that is taking place on Weds 27th November at Old Billingsgate in London. You can find out more about the summit at CMA Summit

I think the parallels in the video between content marketing and dating offer up some interesting and valuable lessons for business and our efforts to attract and retain our customers.

The video also reminded me of a conversation that I was having in a workshop that I was running last week. In the workshop, we were talking about the idea that relationships, whether in our business lives or our personal lives, tend to be built on two dynamics: Interesting and Interested. (I’ve written about this before in: Is your marketing both interesting and interested?)

In the workshop, I asked people if they had ever been to a social event where they had met someone where all they did was talk about themselves?

Everyones hands went up.

I then asked: How interesting do you find these type of people or that type of behaviour? They told me that it can be interesting but maybe only for a while. Beyond that, they quickly find these type of people boring as all they are doing is broadcasting how great they think they are and only ever talk about themselves.

I then asked: Who has been that person at one time or another? A few hands went up. I know that I’ve been guilty of that from time to time as I am sure many of us have been.

However, in many respects, traditional marketing can often seem a lot like this.

I then asked people if they had ever been to an event where they had met someone and all they have done was listen, ask questions, offer advice and, generally, be curious about them.

Again, everyone’s hands went up.

I then asked: How do you feel about these people and this type of behaviour? They said that this type of behaviour can have two results.

One, it can seem that they are really interested in them and it can make them feel really valued as the person’s attention is focused solely on them. However, there is also a second point when too many questions can start to feel intrusive and be a real turn off..

Again, I believe, there are parallels between this type of behaviour and elements of content marketing that, at times, are not so good. You know the ones….the ones where you’ve been shopping or browsing or researching something and the business keeps asking for more: more information about you, more demographic data, more location details, your email address, your social networking preferences etc etc before they allow you to proceed.

Now, I applaud the fact that many firms are starting to include more and more content marketing into how they attract, engage, help and retain their customers. I also acknowledge and understand that businesses want to know more about their customers as part of that process.

But, I also believe that there is a balance that needs to struck between information that businesses want and information they need. They have to be careful that their quest for data and their need to place a potential customer in their ‘funnel’ is not done to the detriment of the relationship.

It’s a fine balance and one that needs to be carefully struck if businesses are to build strong, trusting and sustainable relationships with their customers.



Thanks to Alastair Thompson for the image.

5 comments On Content marketing and relationships with customers – what can we learn from dating?

  • Lovely analogy Adrian.

    I particularly liked your point about over doing it and being too intrusive. That is often where things fall apart.


  • Adrian,

    Great analogy. I often relate the things that are important to a solid personal relationship (spouse, significant other, family, etc.) to those that are important to a company’s relationship with its customers, e.g., communication, honesty, etc.

    The video does a great job of humanizing the courtship.

    Annette 🙂

    • Hi Annette,
      Great to hear that you like the video and it’s analogy.

      And, you are right that the video does a great job of humanizing the courtship. However, I wonder if it will have any impact on the ‘divorce’ rate?


  • Businesses need to do more listening and less talking. Less focus on how great their product and service is and more focus on the needs of the customers. That’s just the way it is.

    • Thanks for that, Ivan.

      Listening is something that we could all get better at, whether in business or even in our personal lives.

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