I was talking about the changing nature of marketing the other day with a client and were talking about how it is getting harder and harder to generate results via traditional approaches to marketing these days. Luckily, he is now a client and we are working together to help him get more out of his marketing. That’s a different story so back to the post.
Anyway, what we were talking about was how marketing is moving from being something that is predominantly a broadcast (ie. a one way) means of communicating with your clients to something that is becoming a more of a two-way process, a conversation, a relationship.
He asked me to explain what I meant. I then likened being in business (finding and keeping customers) to being in a relationship where, over time, apart from the obvious ones like trust, respect, liking etc that are developed there are two foundations to strong relationships:
- Being interested; and
- Being interesting
What I mean is that you might have to be, or look interesting, or show an interest in someone or something to initiate or start a conversation but it will be the act of continually being interested in your customers and/or the other person in the relationship that will be the thing that is equally important and responsible for maintaining the relationship.
I think this is playing out more and more in the business world and we are moving to a world where relationships (and two-way, mutually beneficial relationships) are the things that will drive future business growth. This is not new but more of a back to basics approach to doing business through building better relationships with those around you. This idea was captured to great effect way back in 1936 by Dale Carnegie in ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ when he said:
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
What is important to note here is that most, if not all, marketing methods can be both interesting and interested. What I am talking about here is more of an attitude to how you communicate (in your marketing) to those around you.
So, what I am going to do with my client, and perhaps you might find useful to do this too, is to ask the following questions of your marketing and the way you build and maintain relationships with your customers:
- What in my marketing mix is trying to be interesting, to catch someone’s attention, to get someone interested in me?
- What in my marketing mix is focused on the interests of my customers, being interested in them, connecting with them and helping them? and then
- What’s the balance between the two?
What do you think? Do you think you have gaps in your interesting and interested mix?
Thanks to maciejgruszecki.com for the image.