You get what you pay for

From Seth Godin this morning…

If you don’t want spam in your inbox, never respond, never buy anything. Not even if it’s a good deal.

If you don’t like TV commercials featuring loud aggressive announcers, don’t buy what they’re selling. Ever.

If you don’t want people ringing your door asking for donations, don’t give, no matter what.

If you think politics is too nasty and not focused enough on creating value, then don’t donate to a candidate that’s nasty, even if you agree (and even better, call or write and tell them why).

If you don’t like bait and switch marketing, where promises don’t match the product, don’t buy it.

If you don’t like snarky, angry blogs, don’t read them.

If you deplore the lousy service at big chains or certain airlines, don’t shop there, even if it’s cheaper.

There’s a new asymmetry, with loud consumers able to connect and actually have an impact.

We’re all hypocrites, and we get what we pay for. The market is astonishingly quick at responding to what consumers do (and incredibly slow at reacting to what we say).

[From You get what you pay for]

Nothing to add here… Seth hits then nail squarely on the head.

John-Scott Dixon on the new book Groundswell

From John-Scott Dixon’s post.

I’ve been reading and enjoying a new book called Groundswell. It’s about adapting your company/organization to the new world of social media (Web 2.0). In the book, there are countless examples of companies fighting to maintain control of their brand and corporate messaging. All ultimately reaching the conclusion that it is no longer possible today. Your brand is what people say it is, not what you say it is. Well, I’ve related to a number of these stories, and as a social influence marketer – I’ve been nodding my head up and down with an “I told you so” kind of attitude. It’s great that companies are being held accountable – the days of the PR smooth-over are gone! Anyway, nothing quite brings a concept home like being involved in the middle.

So, as your company begins to deal with customers who are Twittering about you, creating groups, blogging – reach out to them. Don’t be afraid. This is no longer about control – you don’t have any. What you have left is influence. So, get to know them. Help them. This stuff is not an annoyance that is going to fade out and disappear. It’s time to embrace it before your competition does – leverage it to your advantage. Sermon over!

[From “Groundswell” Case Study]

I’ll be picking up Groundswell this week. I think what John-Scott says is spot on…

Old marketing with new tools

Here is an interesting read from Seth Godin.

We tend to use new tools to do less. We try to save time and money at the same time, and end up depersonalizing and commodifying what we do.

A simple example: cost and speed pressure means that when you get your car serviced, it’s unlikely you’ll be greeted by the mechanic himself, wiping his hands on a greasy rag, telling you exactly what he did to your car. Instead, you’ll get a difficult to decipher printout.

Why not use the technology to give more?

[From Old marketing with new tools]

I think Seth hits the target spot on in this post – but I’d go one step further.

We use communications technologies today to avoid communicating.

Since I’ve been telling people about page2call and it’s innovative ability to turn website page views into phone calls – you would be shocked at how many small business owners have said told me some version of what follows:

Can’t I just collect the name and phone number – if I need business I can call them back later.

The irony here is that when you talk to prospective customers of these same businesses what they want is access – they don’t want to be tele-marketed when business gets slow – they want to talk to you about your service now (that’s why they chose to call). And most of them will not do business with you if you are not accessible on their terms.

While cosinity could give you the tools to do pure lead generation based on page2call we’re not sure it is what you really want. We know it sounds good to you, but it sounds terrible to your customers. So let’s use the technology to – as Seth put it – do more, not do less.