Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Moment of Un-Truth

First I have to say it is obvious my plan to post at least once a month on this blog has failed.  So I thought it was about time to take a break from my fashion blogging to talk a bit of marketing.

A few weeks ago I went to Victoria for Social Media Camp to see Scott Stratten of @Unmarketing fame speak. He didn’t disappoint. He is engaging. He is funny. He is really funny! And he makes a good point. Actually he makes many good points.

Scott isn’t necessarily telling us anything new. But he is certainly giving us a well needed reminder.

The basics of marketing, according to Scott, are that it is not a task. It isn’t a role, title or action item on a to-do list. It is every single time you engage with your customers. And building relationships means building business. Because as we all know that people do business with people – particularly people we know, like and trust. Scott reminds us that this is just common sense – too bad more of us don’t use it.

Marketing really is simple, but we make social media and marketing so complicated. One of my favourite comments was “We’ve had social media for decades it was called talking.” Social media is a tactic that allows you to build relationships!

When I rewind my career to 1992 I had the privilege to work on an innovative brand called Saturn (we can debate why Saturn failed in the long run on another day). This was my first job out of University and I was just happy to have a job in my chosen field of advertising – in a time when there were few jobs at all. I realized later what a great first job this was. Besides being a car company trying to introduce the innovative idea that a car company could be fair, they were smart marketers. They knew that all the millions they spent on starting this new car company from scratch would be lost with just one poor interaction – one grumpy receptionist, one mechanic that thought he could make a few extra bucks. They knew marketing wasn’t just your TV advertising. They knew that EVERY touch point with a consumer was a “moment of truth”.

This truth is even more true today in the world of instant worldwide social media conversations. So it is even more important to understand your brand and its differentiation in the marketplace. Keep it simple and deliver it at EVERY customer touch point. Build relationships and don’t try to hit people in the face to get them to buy now (you’ll need to read Scott’s book, aptly named Unmarketing to understand this comment).

Scott will be appearing in Vancouver in early December, on his UnMarketing book tour. Be sure you don’t miss him.