A recurring theme I see rising in my clients' thoughts is how to manage the tension they feel about marketing (especially social media) and remaining true to their purpose and comfort level extending themselves online. I see an internal tug of war - on one side is the understanding for the need to market and on the other side is a honing in on their purpose and wanting to remain true to their values.
Many marketing tactics can and do feel sterile, robotic and staid, causing tension and creating internal dissonance. The beautiful thing is we don't have to market that way, in fact, we shouldn't. We should treat one another like humans, not IP addresses. We are people, not codes created to complete a function.
This has been resting on my heart for some time...which is why I began Authentic Articulations. This week I observed a few moments (in a virtual conference, across email marketing and on social media) that highlight this mindset. Here they are...
A virtual content marketing conference via the Content Marketing Institute .
The last session of the day - Nothing Beats a Neuron: Making Sense of Tech & Humanity - by Jeannine Rossignol, Xerox VP Marketing Services for Large Enterprise Operations - US, was a beautiful way to wrap up a plethora of knowledge sharing. And it spoke to me. Earlier in the conference we covered how marketing & IT should work more closely together, data driven content, maximizing webinars, marketing automation, etc., which is all great and necessary...but without the humanity piece...we are pretending that our audiences are just machines.
Email Marketing & The Client Experience
I ordered my first pair of TOMS last night (the reason why could be its own blog post - maybe it will be - I'm aligning my purchasing power with organizations that have purpose). Anyways, I found what I wanted, made the purchase and I felt good about it. I'm taking care of a need I have and I'm helping others. (See I obviously want to write on this topic - purchasing with purpose, but I will get back to the subject at hand.) Ding - an email. I open up Yahoo and found the image to the left.
My positive purchasing experience is reinforced further. Is it a template? Yes. That's fine. It's the mindset behind the communication. Their email is written how we talk with friends - every day conversation.
TOMS' intention with this communication is meaningful as a consumer - they want each one of our experiences to be p
ersonal and customized. And I adore organizations that let me choose up front what I want to receive from them (in the way of online content). Nice job, TOMS, I consider us friends for sure.
S.O.S. on Social
I had a moment of panic. This morning a client had some changes to their scheduled Tweets for today. Not a big deal - log into Sprout Social, make the changes and voila - all set. Nope. The website was down. I moved from browser to browser, laptop to iPhone and still received their robot image with the words, "FATAL ERROR". Yeah, this is a fatal error and I'm gonna be a fatality if I can't get on this website and update the client's queue.
So, as any normal social media enthusiast would do, I took to Twitter to hash this out. I have to admit, it was part in panic and part playing scientist - I wanted to experiment. Would the Sprout Social team be on this like I imagined they'd be? (Note: They've created a personal experience in my previous interactions). Thankfully, yes they came through and met my moment of panic. I received not one, but two responses...one to my cry for help and one acknowledging the fix.
Thanks for answering my S.O.S. Sprout Social. I didn't feel lost in oblivion among a sea of millions of Sprout Social users.
Marketing doesn't have to suck. (That's literally what I typed as I thought about the wrap up of this blog post. I deleted it, thinking I can't say that. Then I re-typed it.) What's real is honest and anything that is authentic touches us at our most human level. And when we are in tune to that place, we connect to the message, the meaning and the real marketing happens.