The greatest accomplishment of the Internet is the connection of human beings. No other medium has enabled human connectedness like the Internet. And it has changed everything.
Thanks to the Internet, social media came into being. Today, businesses are expected to be present online, and to have conversations with potential and current customers and clients. The voice of the consumer has become much louder, and any business not answering the call is doomed to fail. It’s only a matter of time. The less you care about others the less they will care about you.
Now is the time of one-on-one marketing. And it’s growing faster than anything that’s come before.
How can you, as the owner of a business, respond to this trend, take advantage of it, and gain a major advantage over your competition to fully embracing it at every level of your organization? Let’s see what the man Gary V. Has to say on the subject…
While fielding questions on social media, trends, investing and much more from a panel and the Twitterverse, Gary said the following:
“… The fact of the matter is – this room, and the entire business world, is petrified of what we’re on the dawn of, which is one-on-one marketing. We’re here guys. One-on-one marketing is here, we just don’t want to admit it, because it’s hard. It’s quite hard. And the way you actually win in one-on-one marketing is spend it on people in your organization, to scale the caring, and the one-on-one engagement, not on the ad platforms that we use for retargeting, and all that stuff. Customer acquisition has been mapped – you can do that. You can do retarget, SEM, SEO, Facebook ads, good. But what you’re all going to care about in the next decade, because of social, because word-of-mouth matters, is retention, and percentage of wallet spend, and lifetime value. And those are the things we’re all going to be battling on, and that takes heart and soul, not just a good algorithm, and UI and UX.”
- Gary Vaynerchuk, Nordic eCommerce Summit 2012 (YouTube)
Gary reminds me of what Tony Hsieh told me when I interviewed him in 2008 – company culture is the one thing every entrepreneur must focus on. This gets to the heart of Gary’s point.
Since the 1910’s, businesses the world over have been operating under the principles of Taylorism, or scientific management. Under this form of management employees are treated much like the machines of a factory. They come in each day, serve a singular purpose for the organization, and go home. They are untrusted. Thankfully this isn’t true of all organizations, otherwise we’d have even more people that completely hate their jobs.
We in business have come a long way, but not quite far enough, because the connectedness we now enjoy has literally sped everything up.
Companies can grow to greatness in the span of a few years rather than decades. Within 8 years Facebook grew to 1 billion users and is publicly traded. Founded in 1999, within 10 years Zappos was acquired by Amazon.com for close to $1.2 billion dollars. There are many examples.
There is a commonality among all of these success stories, one singular entity that stands at the middle of it all – YOU.
You now have the power and capability to connect with like-minded individuals as quickly as it takes you to type a search into Twitter, find a group on Facebook, view pins on Pinterest, or dig into LinkedIn profiles. That capability is what challenges many businesses today.
Just last night I spoke with a fellow marketing consultant who, recently, had been told by a client that SEO was a joke. Tell that to Google, or the many clients I’ve helped get more business using SEO.
Perhaps there are people that still don’t understand why they should be in social media. As Gary would say, these people are screwed. Social is becoming even more important for SEO. But that’s not the point here…
The point is this. Your customers and clients use social media. They talk with their friends and colleagues, sometimes about you, or your products, or your services, or about you personally. Wouldn’t you like to be in on those conversations connecting with those folks?
“But that doesn’t” scale some say…
It does, if your organization has a culture where every employee understands the mission of the business, the value it provides, and is fully invested in helping bring that value to an even greater number of people.
It does if every member of your team feels a fully integrated part of the organization – not like a cog in the machine but as a person who contributes their unique value to the organization.
Each member of your team isn’t merely an employee, they are an ambassador for your business at a minimum, and avid evangelists at best. If you’re building a house for your family would you not want to use the best materials you can obtain in order to provide a safe, secure and comfortable place to live? Then why do it with your team members, or customers, or clients?
In order to succeed with one-on-one marketing, the future that is already here increasing in breadth and depth, you need to invest in your people.
I like to tell people that the way a marketer views people determines the methods they use to connect with them. If you feel people are stupid sheep you’ll act accordingly. If on the other hand you believe that people are good, smart, and simply overwhelmed by what Ze Frank calls the “crapucopia of the Internet” then you can have apathy, and will treat them better.
People are not stupid. They may get in their own way and need help moving forward, however I’ve found they always, always, know how they would like to be treated.
That’s what one-on-one marketing is all about. If you want to be part of the future, the part that continues to stay in business in the coming years, you’ll not only accept this at surface level but integrate it into your very being, and into every person in your organization.
The time of humans acting like humans with other humans is back. And I’m super excited to be a part of it. I hope you are too.