An intervention, for my Corporate Marketing friends

Intervention (TV series)
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It’s time for an intervention. We ‘ve been worried about you. You’ve been spending an awful lot of time at marketing conferences, talking about marketing with other marketing people on Twitter and Facebook, reading newsletters from Chris Brogan, CC Chapman and the WOMMA team. Maybe you’ve even taken it upon yourself to write a blog post or two about the importance of “Joining the Conversation”.

You proudly proclaim that you “get it”. Out with the old, in with the new. Community, collaboration, crowdsourcing. Empowering the consumer. Push vs pull.

Let me share with you how your experiences have affected us.

  • We don’t feel connected with you anymore. You proclaim you know what’s good for the amorphous mass known as consumers, wholly excluding yourself and what you know to be true about how you want to interact with companies, instead choosing to focus on statistics, anecdotal stories shared by others with similar worldviews, and what Google Analytics’ home page tells you.
  • For someone so focused on the power of others, you sure do spend an awful lot of time talking about what you’re up to.  Your Facebook pages (and those of your clients) have the unmistakable tone of “Look at what we can do for you! Aren’t we great?” We think you may be missing the point a little.  When you say “It’s not about us anymore,” and then twitter about your new launch party, people may come to the conclusion that you and your clients may be a bit insecure and overcompensating by talking about yourself. You know, the whole “Enough about me, what do you think about me?” thing.
  • Relax! We like you! That’s why we followed you on Twitter, fanned you on Facebook, checked out your blog, maybe even subscribed to your newsletter.  You don’t have to tell us how cool you and your company are all the time.  Just be cool, and show some interest in what’s going on with us.  You know, like an actual conversation, rather than something one of you came up with to sell books.
  • When your company’s communications are about how many units you’ve sold or how popular you are? Yeah, we don’t care.  We also don’t care about awards you’ve won, chart positions within your industry, or how innovative you are, or how much you’re pushing the envelope.  It’s great for you that your company is meeting its financial goals, but for us, it comes off more like “look at how much money you guys are giving us!”
  • We think you might be forgetting that we are the reason your company has those sales numbers, and the reason we are the reason is that you’ve done something to make our lives easier, more fulfilling, more fun.  The monetary transaction is a result of us weighing the pro’s of giving you our money vs the con’s of not getting access to your product or service. That is what drives us to invest time and money in your company, not your company’s sales, awards, or the pretty new website that your web team worked so hard on.
  • This is kind of awkward, but… You know when you talk, blog or tweet about meeting your business goals publicly? We’re a little embarrassed for you.  See, the thing is, we don’t care about your business goals, unless we do.  We know this is complicated to understand, but think of it this way: If you get some great news from a friend, you congratulate them.  If some guy from your high school that ignored you the entire time you were there is in the paper talking about how he’s now a millionaire and marrying the prom queen? Yeah…not so much.  We care about your success when its our success too.  You making money is not our success, it’s a reminder of our money that your company is now spending to send out a press release about all the money its making.
  • We’ve noticed you’ve taken to calling us  advocates, audiences, influencers, milennials, and talking about our psychographics and our clickstreams.  Can you see how this could make us feel like less than people, and how we might think we’re not that important to you?  We know, on some level, that you need to aggregate how we interact with you in order to best serve us in the future (that is what you’re doing, right?), but we don’t need to know how the sausages are made.

So, we hope that you will take these in the spirit in which they were intended.  We really do care about you, and we want whats best for you. We recognize that maybe you don’t see how what you’ve been doing has affected you and the people around you, so we wanted to gather together and let you know, for your own good.

With love

-People on the internet

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