There’s a popular short video circulating the Web that demonstrates the marketing stereotype of taking through messages without listening directly to the needs of the customer. The video spotlights a young couple dining at a local restaurant where he represents The Advertiser and she The Consumer.
The scenario plays out with the woman raising concerns over their relationship, specifically complaining that “he” never listens to her, nor does he really understand her wants and needs. As she continues to share examples of his one-sided behavior, he responds with witty, one-liner messages that paint a very vivid, and familiar picture of how brands usually approach relationships.
In one telling scene, the Advertiser proclaims he cares by referencing a big television ad, a print campaign and even a billboard in Times Square which “was like a 200 foot tall declaration of love.” When the Consumer tells the Advertiser that she has changed and he hasn’t, the advertiser responds with “coupons!”
After being told that he knows nothing about her, the Advertiser says “I know everything about you. You are 28-34, Your online interests include music, movies and laser hair removal. You have a modest but dependable disposable income.” The Advertiser merely continues to speak at the customer ignoring her complaints and concerns, behaving as he always has.
This is a representation of how not to engage in Social Media - but it unfortunately happens every day. Relationships require more than one person and definitely offer benefits to all parties involved. You can’t manage a relationship, you need to be a part of it, fully engaged.
By embracing the social science in Social Media, we can not only observe social behavior and engage with our peers, but also keep communities intact and unaffected by traditional marketing. The customer comes first, and if we fuse sociology, social media, customer service, relationship marketing, experiential marketing, and traditional marketing, we’re creating a new formula for outbound influence and fueling a new generation of brand ambassadors and loyalists.