The Holiday Sale Flop

Many businesses believe in the power of a single marketing campaign, celebrity endorsement or keyword search.

Professional speakers think it’s the quality of their opening. A decorator might always include dramatic color combinations. Amateur writers (tragically) think it’s about how many multi-syllable words or keywords you know.

Energy brokers tout free electricity for life. MLM enthusiasts promise huge, immediate profits. Online stores scream in a stream of emails about another blowout sale.

If we still lived in a world driven by mass marketing (a system designed to make it easy for sellers to target, capture and motivate consumers) then the single big gesture might actually work.

But consumers and business owners no longer see the need or appeal of being manipulated into buying. And they intuitively avoid businesses that remind them of a bombastic boor at a party. Such a business shouldn’t be liked or trusted–and there are businesses out there willing to show prospects more respect, personality and appreciation.

People who use the internet a lot tend to be pretty smart, or at least wily. And they get smarter or wilier every time they’re online.

Acting as if we’ve never seen through a similar “Huzzah!” pitch before is ridiculous. Believing we couldn’t take advantage of your one-trick pony marketing to save ourselves money is self-deceiving. And betting your profits (or your company’s future) on a fond memory of what worked 20 years ago isn’t just silly. It’s suicidal.

It’s time you took the communication leap already taken by many successful businesses and leaders. The leap from manipulative mass marketing to personal and personable relationship building.

Technology hasn’t eliminated our strong psychological need for meaningful human contact. We still like and trust someone the same way–by getting to know him or her. We see how a person or business acts over time, to changing circumstances. We’re persuaded to want to know them better by a series of small, personally revealing messages or acts.

And those messages can’t come out of a trumpet. Artificial deadlines (“only four hours left!”) no longer excite us, either. But if you know what makes you unique, and are good at communicating it to exactly the right people, you can accomplish much more than the supersales of yesteryear.

Get personal. Get real. And get underway today.


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