This bit of advice is directed towards those brought up in “traditional” media marketing. Marketing 1.0 was defined by carefully crafting a message– controlling every word, every graphic, every nuance of an advertising campaign. The product was placed clearly at the center of this universe.
But just as Copernicus figured out that it was the Sun, not the Earth, that is the center of the solar system, so too must traditional marketers learn that it was never the product at the center of their universe, it is the customer.
Nowhere is this shift in business thinking better outlined than in the Cluetrain Manifesto. There are many excellent tenets espoused in Cluetrain. No marketing professional should venture forth into the social media world without first internalizing the Cluetrain principles.
One Cluetrain principle that trips up traditional marketers is #3, Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice. Marketers, accustomed to controlling every word, wring the humanity out of prose. Just as you can easily tell if a presenter is reading from the page, so too is it easy for people to discern personal versus corporate speech.
Marketing 2.0 is fundamentally different than Marketing 1.0. Instead of controlling every aspect of a marketing message, Marketing 2.0 is about empowering your customers to share THEIR story. And you can’t fake it, either. When you enable your customers to tell their story, they naturally use their personal voice. Yes, there will be errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. You may think that perfection is preferable, but to make changes robs a message of its author’s voice.
People are not perfect. People have flaws and imperfections. That’s what makes each one of us human and beautiful.
Photo by Thomas.Merton on Flickr.