Even if you know nothing of physics (I do not), most of us know Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The same concept applies to marketing—some agree, and others have differing opinions. There are at least two ways to look at anything so it’s advantageous to be mindful of different perspectives.
Does your content match your sentiment? Are you blogging on what may seem like an attack on a company that you’d like to do work for? Are you over-reacting to a news article that you scanned or hearsay when you heard it second-hand?
This post is a bit professional and a bit personal, and I hope that you add your thoughts on professionalism in the comments.
Let’s talk about how you conduct yourself. We’ve mentioned before that in today’s consumer-driven market, transparency rules, and that’s in both your professional and personal life. As my sage advisor loves to say, “clients become friends, and friends become clients.” To me, this really means: don’t make anyone upset in a way that you’ve severed whatever relationship you have (good, bad or indifferent). If there is even the slightest chance that your actions—your words—could potentially affect a business aspect in a negative way, then don’t do it! Really think about how you’re communicating and what it might mean. Think about the potential fall-out—is it worth it?
There will always be politics, and rights and wrongs, but they are different to every human being. Instead of speaking your mind by blasting a company on your blog, connect with them to find out what pieces of the story you’re missing. If that doesn’t work, make your post constructive. If you have a disgruntled client or consumer, instead of lashing out defensively, try to figure out that “question behind the question” and formulate a response that reflects that, without all the added feelings. Your client could be wrong, but you can never come out and say they’re wrong. There are ways to phrase your content without having to hurt any relationship.
This applies to many aspects of marketing, from content on all platforms to how you conduct yourself in a business meeting. Be cognizant of your audience. For example, if you’re having an event, make sure your food choices reflect the audience. Would having foie gras upset them? Do you have a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free option?
Think about the last time you sent out a marketing piece—an email blast. A piece of direct mail. Maybe even an email. Was it effective, and what made it that way? I was recently talking to a colleague, and we were discussing a mass email blast that she had sent out on behalf of her firm. The open rate was still hovering around 30% (which is good), but her attorneys reported a huge response from their audience, more than any other feedback they had received on a mass mailing. She attributes this to the way in which the blast was phrased—the subject of the email was a thank-you to those clients and peers, and she found that it made a big difference.
Sure, imagery matters. A great catchy title. And once you’ve hooked in the audience, you better make sure you’re content is just as inviting. You never know when those people might reappear in your life (and they almost always do).
[photo courtesy of David Salaguinto via Flickr]