Without Marketing

How would you go about finding and attracting more customers if traditional marketing was off the table?
 
No email, Facebook, or Google. No digital mechanisms that companies of all sizes have grown accustomed to. No print, TV or radio advertising.
 
Where would you begin?
 
If I had to guess, you’d start with people. You’d take a close look at the people who build your products or services and the people who buy from you. You’d take excellent care of these people. You’d know them, what’s important to them, their wants, needs, and lifestyle. You’d make sure they knew they were well cared for, so they would talk to the people who aren’t yet your customers.
 
You and your team would likely become really good at human connection. You’d know and use people’s first name. You’d look them in the eye. You’d express gratitude. You’d listen carefully to them. You’d adopt a more profound sense of service and connection. You’d make some magic through these connections.
 
It’s actually human nature. We’re all wired to connect and collaborate. The deepest part of our humanity seeks belonging. We search for belonging where we can find it. Not just “fitting in” but true belonging. This is where you see the humanity and commonality in the people you work with and the customers you serve. I speak and write about this in my TEDx talk.
 
If you took this humanized route, you’d migrate away from a mentality of lack and competition, into one where collaboration grew roots and fruit. You’d be more bold, more brave, more connected.
 
None of this is extraordinary. Or is it? It’s often overlooked, skipped, or assumed in this age of social networks and digital connection. It’s easy to pull the levers of big data. It’s harder to look people in the eye and show them you care. It’s harder because it requires vulnerability, generosity, and empathy—traits that are often bypassed in most marketing. It’s also harder to make quality products and build services that go above and beyond.
 
While data is good, it’s also just, well, data. Data doesn’t create anything new, and it doesn’t predict the future. The more we rely primarily on data, the more we move away from the human connections where all marketing really happens. The human brain processes roughly 400 billion bits of information a second—and we’re aware of 2,000 of those bits of information per second during human interactions. So, if you want great data, talk to people.
 
The way you market, tell your story, and express your brand should be done with the same level of care you put into your products and services. It shows when you care. It also shows when you don’t. There’s no faking it. By showing—thought your genuine efforts and connection—that you truly care, customer return the favor with their valuable attention. Which is worth you putting effort into building meaningful human relationships.
 
Some question to consider: 

  • Is your brand and marketing mindset steering you away from human interaction?
  • Is this mindset limiting your ability to connect with and serve your customer more effectively?
  • Have you humanized your marketing to the extent that you can actually learn from your customers?
  • Is your culture, which drives your customer service (CX), connected to the beliefs of your brand?
  • Are you tapping into the wisdom and insight of your best customers by asking great questions and listening?
  • Are you learning from the customers who leave your offering, so you understand why?
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