What happens when your customers can respond to your marketing messages and create their own public dialog about your products and services?
All those filters you have set up to distill messages for public consumption are bypassed. Now you and your customers are in a conversation about your company, your brand, your product, and your service. This sounds a bit utopian; it can also be a bit scary.
There’s been a lot of hiding behind the comfort of a polished marketing message, a vernacular that is shrouded in generic, corporate speak – how many brochures, websites, and product demonstrations have you been in that used the terms scalable, robust, award winning, etc…? These words don’t inspire a conversation; they are the language of a one-direction communication. We create the message; you consume it, and hopefully are influenced to purchase our product because of its consumption.
A conversation is more free-flowing, more transparent, and more human. A company is courageous enough to put themselves out there via a blog, not a corporate speak blog, but a blog that really communicates who the company and the individual is and what they stand for. The community: prospects, customers, partners, then can comment and converse in a manner that builds trust.
Some companies look at transparency as a threat; I see transparency as an opportunity to allow prospects to virtually walk themselves through the sales cycle. If a prospective customer knows who you are, likes what you’re saying, can engage with you in an authentic fashion (trust), they are well on their way to paying you.
How long does this take and what does it cost you via the one-directional, direct sales, interrupt everyone model of traditional marketing? It takes a long time and it’s expensive.