As a follow up to my post yesterday regarding agile marketing, this post from HBR is a nice complement.
The concept is simple: marketing is really about making friends. Groundbreaking? Not really, but still worthy of consideration and analysis. Here’s why.
With the exponential growth of social channels, earned media has become far more important in marketers’ quivers than paid media. Less expensive and potentially more valuable than other media, social media can form and shape conversations around brands in much more compelling and, importantly, faster ways to drive interest and preference. Too many competing noises may crimp the style of some, but the fact remains that conversations spawned by and among potential customers carry much greater weight than those shoveled into 30 second spots or full page ads.
Several years ago, a large ad agency in Atlanta transformed itself from solid performing WestWayne to a new century 22 Squared, based squarely on the concept of friendship being at the core of marketing. (The name itself, 22 Squared, germinated from research that a person on average will make 484 friends in a lifetime (22 x 22 = 484). Facebook’s popularity, and later Twitter, validated this strategic shift to friendship which, for most marketers, is central to their mission whether they call it such or not.
I’m a big proponent of friendship over marketing, particularly because all buyers are human, not monolithic corporate entities. Besides, people like to buy from people they like.