Every business wants to get new customers and keep the existing ones. A lot of businesses think getting and keeping are the same process. It isn’t and if you use social media with your institutional thinking for both you lose.
Lets be real. The words “getting and keeping customers” reflects hunting and trapping which are terms used to “get and keep” animals for consumption or use. Customers aren’t animals they are people who don’t want to be caught or kept by anything or anyone. Most people don’t want to be caught or trapped by your business. Less actually want to call you a friend. None are inclined to follow you unless you will give or save them money.
Marketers are on a hunt and customers are on the watch.
It’s time for marketers to adopt a better mindset by introducing a powerful shift in their vocabulary: a shift away from the language of hunting and capturing and towards the language used by people. People don’t appreciate being hunted or targeted. The thought of cold calculations and smart technology at work to separate them from their money does not create the human warm and fuzzy. That isn’t what the human network refers to “being social”. However most marketing efforts show a “get and keep them” sentiment and that is how buyers feel and talk about your marketing efforts.
Your Words Define Your Intent
The words we use shape our thinking, and vice versa. Over the centuries, businesses have arrived at a marketing language that conflicts with how people actually feel about themselves as decent human beings. The language that comes with marketing, especially in terms of all things social, has evolved into something that sounds like a droid trolling for “friends” and not a human engaging with sincere intent.
In the old days buyers were vulnerable to “tricks of the marketing trade” because the influence over buyer perception was isolated to the marketers. Buyers were fed a steady stream of tricks to get their attention and then captured for the kill. Suppliers simply played the volume game without concern that buyers would ever have enough influence to impact the volume game. Now the game has changed.
Today the buyers voice is growing stronger and with more influence than the suppliers. Getting and keeping customers has now shifted to a process of attracting and serving customers through and with other customers. The supplier relevancy is now influenced more by the quality of service or product than by slick marketing, suppliers use of social media or large advertising budgets.
To succeed in the 21st Century organizations need to learn how to think differently about their language, their tactics and the shift in market influence. The market is internal and external and is no longer controlled by the kings. People are watching and soon they’ll be hunting you. Don’t get caught or captured doing the wrong thing.