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Creating meaningful relationships with clients - or better said: USERS - is not an easy task for many organizations that were built and grown according to the logic of the one-way street called Advertising.
If we take Facebook's founding date as the start of the social network phenomenon, social is still only in its childhood, and many organizations and ad-agencies' understanding of it still in diapers.
Although most clients understand they have to get onto the social bandwagon, many still rely on their ad agency to figure out in whichever what way to do so, instead of looking at how to incorporate “Meaningful Conversations” with their current and potential customers into their core strategies and product development.
This attitude reminds us in more than one way of the early days of Direct Marketing and Sales Promotion, when brands would tie their products to any award that was believed to be attractive to target audiences, relevant or not.
Only years later it became obvious that Brands cannot be built through temporarily seducing or co-opting customers with cash, cars or totally irrelevant ties to other brands – so called “borrowed interest” – but only through consistently building brand value by looking after the customer’s interest and offering those products and services he or she wants most.
Today, many brands still ignore the fact that their customers can – and will – talk back at them, treating them like some unknown passer-by on a daily commute or, worse, like a homeless person begging for a coin...
Those days are over. Brands that wish to survive and thrive in the XXI Century do not only need to talk back, but need to construct “Meaningful Relationships” which cannot be achieved through Advertising alone, but by taking the interlocutor not only seriously but as a friend who has wants & needs that need to be resolved.
This is why I believe that two-way conversations must be built into core strategy, products, services, and also why Advertising has – so far – only scored a handful of victories and probably thousands of failures.
Here are some thought starters that might get the process flowing…
Imagine the Impossible!