Human nature is an interesting thing. It’s also a predictable thing. We all behave in basically the same way…whether we like it or not. One of our many failings is that we are selfish beings and we always tend to see the world from a viewpoint which serves our own agenda and (we hope) meets our own objectives.
Nowhere is this more obvious than marketing.
In the modern world there is very little differentiation between products…because most products are good. Your latest Adidas running shoes are brilliant but do they really give you a competitive advantage over a similar pair from Nike, Puma, Asics, Reebok or New Balance? You love your new Audi, but is it really “better” than the offerings from Mercedes & BMW? Actually, is it better than the offerings from Kia, Fiat & Ford? Erm…in absolute terms…probably not. They’re all reliable, have long service lives, are well equipped, safe and comfortable. The differences are as much about taste as they are about performance.
Within this framework we all understand that we need to build trust, we need to develop a “relationship” with the buyer. We need to empower the buyer so that they can see what we, the “experts,” can clearly see…that our running shoes or cars are actually better than the competition.
We all know this (because it’s obvious)…and yet we don’t (from what I can see) act in a way which acknowledges this. In fact what we do is quite the reverse.
We sell. We hustle. We harass. Then we wonder why people don’t engage with our content and buy our products. We basically chase our prospective customers away in the same way that the lonely boy at the school prom chases the girls away with is desperation to have a dance.
So, why do we behave like this? We know that WE would run away in the end so how come we think that our prospective customers won’t?
We don’t care that we chase people away. We don’t care that we alienate them and bore them and pitch to them and discredit ourselves. We don’t care because there’s a tiny percentage that will buy and this is enough for us to keep doing this.
I know that some of you will be thinking “that’s not us because our product REALLY DOES solve the customer’s problem”…but that is exactly the problem.
Whilst we all know that regular communications should empower and educate the prospect with good and interesting content that helps to take them on a journey…I have seldom been exposed to marketing that actually does this. Most marketing simply keeps badgering me to buy something.
This is why many people unsubscribe. This is why often those emails are consigned to spam folders.
This constant bombarding of prospects is the behaviour of organisations looking for a transaction and NOT a relationship.
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