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
Tags:The Viral Garden, Marketing
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