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What Is 'Connection Marketing'?
Expand With Connection Marketing
What you can do now to thrive in the new economy...
If this has caught your attention it's because we're discussing Connection Marketing.
What is Connection Marketing?
In this article, I'll go into an overview of what Connection Marketing is, and what you can do NOW to thrive in these new economic times.
Connection Marketing: What is it?
My definition of 'marketing' is the communication between a business and a consumer. A 'consumer' is a potential customer; also know as a prospect. Any type of communication between the business and the consumer - whether it be through a video, through an ad, through a brochure - is what I consider 'marketing'.
'Connection' means that the exchanges that take place, between business and consumer, do so in a friendly and humane manner. The interaction is from one person to another; NOT from a corporation trying to jam something down your throat.
A quick back story
The industrial economy brought us the television. The T.V. allowed us to market our products and services to the masses. In order to reach the general population, companies needed to create average products and services.
This is in the traditional marketing sense. It's the traditional way of doing things.
Back then, we used to buy things that we NEEDED. As long as a company created a product that filled a NEED, they'd be able to advertise it - traditionally - and make money. But what happened is they started making bland and regular products so they could sell as many as possible to the masses.
The internet has changed everything. It has made it possible to reach the most unique groups of people. The mass market has been dissolved - we no longer buy what we NEED, we buy what we WANT. And that means that businesses can now thrive by creating unique products, to unique segments of the population. This is where connection marketing comes in.
Since people buy what they WANT (they already have everything they NEED), we should ask ourselves what that is. We don't need to create something super bland and uniform, and we don't have to worry about selling a bazillion units to average people. All of a sudden you can make niche products; very unique products, to niche crowds.
For the past 100 years here's how I've seen the promotion of a product or service - the 'marketing'. For the past 100 years, it's been:
Annoying: You ever watch a T.V. show, and every commercial timeout you see runs the same ad? Whether it be for Pizza Pops or Cadillac cars, they are very annoying and repetitive.
Repetitive: They hope it burns into your brain, so that when you see it, you feel compelled to purchase it.
Interruptive: When you're looking for information you visit a blog. Within the first second you're bombarded by pop-ups, asking for your e-mail address so they can send you something great. Don't get me wrong I'm all for that, but give me a chance to read the headline!
Exaggerative: The best example I can use for this is when you go to a fast food restaurant. How good does that burger look when it's up on the billboard, or on posters? Of course when you get it, it looks NOTHING like advertised...
Here's how I see the next 100 years of promotion for a product or service - or the next 100 years of 'marketing':
Relevant: Because we're selling unique products to unique people, all of a sudden we don't have to advertise our stuff absolutely everywhere. Only those people who have shown an interest or may have looked at something like this in the past, will see our ads or marketing, therefore making it relevant to them.
Subtle: Imagine if you're someone who loves books, but everywhere you look you see ads for sneakers... That not very subtle, and you'd notice that right away since it's not very appealing to you.
Anticipated: This is especially true when it comes to e-mail correspondence. Most companies now collect e-mails (which is understandable). The problem is that you get the same 6 e-mails a day, containing promotion notices, sales, and early-bird specials whether you want them or not. Because these messages are not anticipated, it is the MAJOR factor that makes a person decide to 'opt-out'. In the future, these anticipated messages (also being relevant) will see much better open rates. Also, a person only gets the information they agree to receive.
Honest: This may sound trivial, but a very important example is pricing an item at 49.99$. "Who are you kidding?" "Call it like it is!" You'll never see two people at a party with the following exchange: "Nice shoes... how much did you pay?" "I paid 49.99$" Your marketing message should be from one person to another.
The good news is that it's all looking up from here! Taking a look at the past 100 years and the next 100 years, you can see that it's looking good.
The world is a different place... People want to connect.
NO MORE bureaucracy
NO MORE ridiculous policies
NO MORE exploitation from greedy corporations
Decisions based on ROI are the ways of old - No more greedy fat-cats, wearing suits, drinking scotch and smoking big cigars making decisions based on how much money they can squeeze from people.
Connection Marketing encourages better values; such as honesty and integrity.
We don't have to engineer bland products to serve average people, nor should we cater to a general public anymore.
We can be TRANSPARENT. We can be OURSELVES.
I truly believe that we can be successful when we follow this etiquette.
Transitioning to Connection Marketing
You're probably wondering: "How can I make the transition to connection marketing?... Will it work?"
Well, most aspects of connection marketing are very similar to those of traditional marketing...
You still have things like an online store or website, you still use landing pages to collect e-mails, you still offer products and services, and of course, you're still making a profit!
You're still in business; you still provide value for people and for that you get paid handsomely.
It's the METHOD by which you carry yourself that's different.
It's the look, the feel, the layout of the online store... It's the look, the feel, the offer of the landing page... It's what you do with those e-mails... It's the product or the service that you're offering that's different.
The 3 Pillars to Connection Marketing
CABBIT - An aspect of your offering is remarkable and worth talking about.
If you were driving down a country road and saw a cow in the field, you probably wouldn't look twice. But imagine it was a PURPLE cow! (referencing Seth Godin's incredible book titled Purple Cow)
You'd most likely stop, take pictures, upload them to social media, and call your friends and family to explain what you saw. That's because a purple cow is remarkable and worth talking about. Whether your product already has a Cabbit, or whether it needs one, it's something you want to lead-off with. What truly separates you from your competition?
CONNECTION - Opening the channel of communication with your prospects - creating a two-way dialogue.
This pertains to the e-mail sequences mostly. Rather than bombarding people with unrelated, unanticipated messages, you're creating an open dialogue with consumers. Imagine that you want to upgrade, update, or create a new product. Now imagine being able to ask your fans what they like/dislike about the current version. No more guesswork! Plus, a person might be more inclined to purchase your new product knowing they had a say in its creation. Powerful, and not to be taken advantage of... It's free research!
CONTRIBUTION - With our newfound success, we're able to support worthwhile causes.
I believe we all have a need to contribute - amongst others. We all want to help others. We want to do great things together. What if you build contribution into your ticket price? What if you took a portion of profits from every sale and donated it to a certain charity. Some people would like to do business with you merely because they'd be helping others. You're not JUST doing it as a clever ploy to sell more stuff, but you WANT to do it because you're helping others - and it's good KARMA.
I realize just may still have a few questions...
How do I know this really works?
Let me ask you this:
Are you tired of the way you're being marketed to by other companies?
Are you tired of receiving irrelevant and unanticipated e-mails from companies?
Are you tired of being misled by fine-print and exaggerated claims?
These are traditional methods of marketing.
If you're fed up, chances are that lots of others are too.
How do I know if this is a good investment?
The fact of the matter is that traditional marketing methods are working less and less - companies find themselves spending more advertising money than ever, to have the same effect they may have had in the past.
On a daily basis, we're bombarded by 3000-7000 ads. We've grown so accustomed to them, we tune them out. Large corporations then resort to 'ramping it up'. "We'll just be louder than ever!" (Just look at how we now get ads in our inbox).
I believe it's possible to reach MORE, while spending LESS. The key is Connection Marketing.
What I'm suggesting is that we stop marketing to EVERYONE though repetitive, average marketing and we instead start CONNECTING to unique markets - offering truly remarkable options.
I'm sure there are many companies headed in this direction...
Let's start utilizing this approach as a means of promoting 'the human connection agenda'.