“Let’s be Friends”

Seriously. What’s all this coming to here in the world of marketing, advertising, and business? Answer: “Let’s be friends.”

Somebody once said, “everything you need to know in life you learned in grade school.”  

Its probably true. I’ve been reading a lot of Seth Godin , and Josh Bernoff  recently and its really rubbed off. My conclusions I’ve jumped to are as follows. Like a mat on the floor. Get it? A jump to conclusions mat?

With the advent of social networking sites, viral content, crazy clutter in the marketplace, and company transparency online,  it seems the only way to get noticed honestly as a brand is to actually BE your customers. Be ready to be their genuine friend. No funny stuff Lebowski… You can’t be a jerk anymore. Your livelihood depends on it. And you will be found out.

Im looking in your direction Phizer. You seem to have forgotten who your actual customers are and where your interests lie.

Think about what all these companies have tried to do with ads. Traditional ads. Brands speaking in the dark to the rest of the world Ads. They find you in a mutually respectable place. They offer up some interesting tidbit of information an/or try to entertain you; then then pitch the product. They sidle up next to cool and throw their logo in the bottom right hand corner. But it’s not the same anymore. That dog don’t hunt the way it used to. Because people have a voice now. Its a two way street. 

Because now it’s its real time. Real people-interacting with real brands. Transparency is key on the net and subsequently now in business all together. Because somebody is going to find you out. They’re going to see. If you are a cheap scumbag, the jig is up. You don’t pay your bills? You have piss poor customer service? You don’t play fair? You overcharge?  Say goodbye. Say goodbye to your company, say good bye to your sales.  Nobody likes an asshole. People may fear them, but they do not like them. And nobody buys from them either.

First off, make sure your not an asshole. It’s called company operations as marketing. Apple gets it, Zappos gets it. What happens when someone gets it in your industry before you do?  And these are not new concepts. It’s just good business.

You have to make friends. You must. You must live and breathe the lifestyle of your customers. You have to live how they live. Understand them. Commiserate with them. Offer them something they value. And give it away. Build a relationship with them. YOU MUST GIVE TO RECEIVE. Then, and only then will anyone hear what you have to say with an open mind and possibly use your service or buy your product. People do business with their friends. And things just got a whole lot more personal.


One response to ““Let’s be Friends”

  1. It’s true, information does change rules. With everything about everyone being so accessible (those of us with blogs are one to talk!) you have to walk the walk or the masses will know and they will rebel. The interesting thing is the people on the other side – think of last weeks big rigamaroll around the CEO of Whole Foods when he came out against Obama’s health care plan. His clientele are typically liberal-minded pro-health care types. Those customers freaked out and started boycotts and such while he received a whole bunch of support from Republicans/Libertarians who said they would START shopping at his stores…. it’s just interesting how it works on both ends.

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