Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How to market in a world of friends and friendlies, when you are neither

Look at the above picture, and see if you can spot the marketer.

A - The singer on stage?

B - The crowd?

Or is it really secret answer 'C', the singer AND the crowd?

Everyone is a marketer. The singer is creating a product for the customers that paid for it. But notice that the crowd is whipping itself into a frenzy, and they are feeding off each other's excitement. And the excitement has spilled back onto the stage, where the singer has her arms in the air, mimicing the audience.

Everyone belongs to the same community.

I thought of this example this morning when I ran across this post from Kami. She tells how her HP suddenly needed to be replaced, and how she reached out to Dell's Richard Binhammer for advice. Richard then drove to his local Best Buy and called Kami from the sales floor walking her through which model she could get from her local Best Buy.

Then I realized that I am constantly bumping into Richard online, in many of the same places that I am, such as here on my blog, on Facebook, and even on Twitter. And through all our interactions, I cannot remember a single time when Richard has directly promoted a Dell product to me.

IOW, Dell has become a part of my community. Be it on here, on Facebook, or on Twitter, Richard, as a Dell representative, is using these same tools in the same ways and for the same reasons that I am.

This is the key to how marketers can thrive online using social media and social networks. You have to use these tools in the same ways and for the same reasons as we do. If you're a marketer, this is how you can meet friendlies, and convert them into friends. In fact I'd say it's likely the only way.

PS: In a weird sort of way, I am tired of writing about how well Dell is doing in reaching out to and engaging bloggers. Tired because I keep waiting for other companies, especially their competitors, to follow suit. I want to write about someone else for a change. But as Marianne points out, at least one of Dell's competitors is totally missing the social media boat.

Pic of The Donnas via Flickr user tatu43


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Anonymous said...

Hi Mack
Thanks. Good perspective and appreciated. And, I am thrilled to connect with you, and like you watch for others to engage.

In the meantime, we will listen and learn everyday, just as I did from this post

Kami Huyse said...

There is a reason I didn't go for another HP. They are missing the boat in a big way.

Marianne said...

Hey Mack,

Great post...appreciate the mention. seems like there are eventually going to be 2 kinds of marketers in the world, those who get what you wrote and those that don't. The social web has made the world into a small town where you can't hide from your "neighbors."

Anonymous said...

mack...thanks for your perspective and views...there is nothing better than listening and learning from our customers. I too hope others will join the conversation