There's been recent news in the social webspace about not one, but two marriage proposals on the micro-blogging site Twitter (more discussion here). But marriage is only one demonstration of the relationships that can be strengthened with the support of the social web. It is about the relationship, but do we really understand how that works?
I found this little gem thanks to Doc Searls, who received it from Keith Hopper.
Don't read any more until you watch this (it's short - under two well-invested minutes):
As we wrote in The Emergence of The Relationship Economy, all business requires a medium of marketing, communicating, and selling means that drive customer awareness of the business proposition. Where companies screw this up is their focus ONLY on our awareness by failing to find the right balance between marketing, communicating, and selling.
Perhaps the perspective needs some adjustment -- let's look at it as a "communication sandwich," where marketing and selling frame the communication. Companies can bring their intent to the communication -- consumers are OK with that -- it's nice to know what the other person aims to get from a relationship, but we're getting to the point where we are wondering whether there is marketing just for the sake of marketing? Wendy's (provider of very excellent hamburgers sandwiches) had a commercial a while back that asked "Where's the Beef?"
In a communication sandwich like we've had for many years now, we should be asking the same thing!
So how can we get that message to the companies who keep pushing their products and services on us, without so much as a real follow up?
Perhaps we should just walk out on them and take our business elsewhere . . .
Is it that easy? Do you think they'll get it? NO!!! Not without a united effort by the people formerly known as the audience . . . we touched on the need for new strategies in our post on marketing in The Relationship Economy. Remember the peanuts that brought Jericho back? Well, that campaign worked (though not for very long), but this one is different, and it won't cost you money.
How 'bout this?
. . . go to as many company feedback sites as you can in the next 7 days.
Post something like this.
I (and a lot of people like me) have been trying to convey our sincere desire to have a real relationship with those who provide products and services for our consumption and enjoyment. The benefit of this relationship for you is that you get to know EXACTLY what we need, not only what you think we need, based on your research, focus groups, and late-night brainstorming with people who are so entrenched in the marketing model of the 20th Century that they wouldn't know a real conversation if one bit them on the nose. We want you to know what we need, when we need it, and why . . .
If you really care about our relationship, please invest two minutes and three seconds in it, by watching this video - http://bringtheloveback.com/2007/05/16/mdas_europe/
What do you think?
P.S. A hamburger is first a sandwich . . . verify here.