I just attended a webinar that tried to “unteach” the basics we’ve all learned about marketing and promotion. And I loved it. Here’s a summary for you.
Social Media Examiner is one of today’s most successful blogs about social media. It’s also a major sponsor of Social Media Success Summit 2011, which I’m attending this month. In Michael’s presentation at SMSS11, he introduced “The Elevation Principle,” which is:
Great content + other people – marketing messages = growth
The rest of the presentation explained more about this untraditional approach to marketing.
Michael gave this definition from the American Marketing Association:
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
Note the words “exchanging offerings.” This implies a two-way street, where value is provided on both sides. That is not the traditional marketing view.
Michael made us laugh with a picture of a consumer with a fish hook in his mouth. But marketers do use a lot of words like “hook,” “trolling,” and “keeper.” And people are sick of being “captured” by brands. In fact, as Michael says,
Marketing creates ‘friction.’ The more you try to sell, the more you’ll repel people.
That’s a harsh reality we are dealing with these days–and it’s true not just for businesses but for nonprofits or any other organization that has products, services, ideas, or issues to promote.
“Helping people” means providing useful and interesting content, starting good conversations, and offering good advice and customer support to solve their problems. It requires building trust and creating reciprocity. That’s what social media is for: creating opportunities to establish trust, offer value, and break through the other marketing noise.
It’s not about you or your company, it’s about your audience. If it’s good for them, it’s good for you.
Note: I don’t have a business relationship with Michael or SME. This is post is my own commentary.