How do you think about marketing?  Is it all about informing people about what you do, your products, your services, your history, your values, you, you, you, you……?

If the defintion of marketing is simply “getting people with a specific need to know, like and trust you” (Jantsch), which is a better approach?  Informational or relational?

Whether it’s your brochures, your presentation, your website, or your use of social media, would other people say your marketing resembles a self-promoting billboard or do they consider you someone they can talk with at the local coffee shop.  Transactions can be manipulated in a variety of ways, but are often one-time only experiences.  Long-term marketing cultivates a relationship – not just AFTER the sale (an important step in the process often overlooked – might want to try email marketing to help with that!) – but the business who wants to develop a trust-relationship with their customers educates, informs, introduces, suggests, directs, leads and offers a compelling story.  The percentage of long-term REPEAT transactions from loyal and happy clients referring others is MUCH higher than the forced high-pressure impersonal transaction.

Here’s a couple of action items:

1) completely non-scientific, this site allows you to plug in your website to determine how much time you spend talking about YOU vs how much you spend referencing the needs of your customer. You might be surprised.  (I’m happy that our site gets a 60+% customer focus rate – but could it be even higher?)

2) David Meerman Scott is one of the world’s premier social media experts (really, his ideas are brilliant!) – he offers a similar metaphor for how to use social media.

Have a good weekend!