Steve Rubel – VP, Client Services, CooperKatz & Company leads a session on marketing and conversations with Shel Israel – co-author of the forthcoming Naked Conversations; Deborah Schultz – Marketing Director, Six Apart; and Vicki Warker – VP, Product Mgmt and Marketing, Sprint Business Solutions.
The most important thing your company can do is talk to your customers, in conversations that humanize your organization and assert strong thought leadership in the market. By becoming an accessible, smart voice in the market, you create a valuable brand experience for your customers and encourage discussions that give you invaluable feedback and insights into what your customers actually think of your products and want they want to buy from your company.
It’s about talking with customers, not to customers. Remember that the customer is paying, and part of the equation. It’s not okay to just talk to customers, but you have to respect customers. It’s a great opportunity.
Marketing is about communicating to the customer, and being a customer advocate within a company. It’s about using a human voice, and being more than just a marketer. The conversation, though, should not be controlled by any one group – everyone needs to be involved, ranging from public relations to marketing to customer service.
A person in the audience noted that conversations take different tacts for different groups, and that the moderator and panel were myopic. That conversations are different, and you converse differently with different groups.
With the growth of blogs, though, the old tools are not going to work, are not scalable. But, it’s scalable if the conversation is geniune, because you are able to follow the true conversation. It’s about mindshift, a shift of power that is back to basics. You respect the customer, and work with the customer.