Last week, we spent a day at the Art of Marketing Conference learning from some of the most highly influential voices in the field: Keith Ferrazzi, Avinash Kaushik, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Mitch Joel and Randi Zuckerberg.
Each of the speakers brought a unique perspective to the table, but there were some common threads between their presentations that we think all marketers need to pay attention to. Call them marketing mantras, if you will. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing a few of the top ideas that we took away from the conference and plan to incorporate into our work.
Marketing Mantra #1: Relationships Rule
We all know that the Internet has profoundly changed our field, but we sometimes fail to realize how much it has affected the expectations of our customers. Until recently, marketing was primarily a one-way activity. Advertisers were the senders and consumers were the receivers. Thanks to the Internet and social media, that’s no longer the case. Consumers now have the opportunity to interact directly with brands, and they expect companies to engage them in real, meaningful ways.
Building relationships is more important than ever before. Keith Ferrazzi recommended that we all stay on top of our game by developing what he calls a “people plan.” He suggested identifying the 25 most important people to the future of your company or brand for the year, and then focusing to build strong relationships with them. Seth Godin developed this concept on the idea of tribes that he has written about in several of his books, and recommended that we all focus on that small, niche group of people who will come together around the unique value our brands offer. Gary Vaynerchuk recommended that we start listening to our consumers in social media, learning about their lives and then interacting with each of them on a one-on-one basis. These are slightly different ways to look at the task of relationship building, but they all emphasize the fact that strong relationships are the mark of a strong brand.
You’ll find the rest of our Marketing Mantras posts here.