Question: How do we genuinely care about marketing audiences?

A recent blog by Jason Falls entitled, “Marketing without faking it – A case study” describes a visit Jason made to Austin, TX. One of his followers on Twitter — a restaurant marketer — offered him a free lunch at his restaurant when he heard Jason was in town.

Jason writes:

“I anticipated I would have a really nice case study to write about relative to targeted outreach. For a restaurant to target 20-30 influential bloggers, filmmakers or musicians in Austin for SXSW and invite them in to try the food, is pretty smart. Even if only five or six take them up on the offer, they’re going to post Twitter messages, invite some fellow attendees who will do the same and so on. If the restaurant were able to land someone with a vast network, they could literally have lines wrapped around the building to get in just to eat with a cewebrity.”

But it turns out this wasn’t a marketing gimmick. The marketer was buying Jason lunch because she genuinely wanted to.

“She said she thought to herself, ‘I know that I guy. I follow his tweets every day.” So she invited me. That’s it. There was no real strategy behind. She was just being nice to someone whose blog she reads and Tweets she follows.'”

From this experience, Jason said,

“The learning we can take from this is that when a business communicates like human being, connects with a customer and treats them like they would treat a friend, even the smallest gestures can reap the biggest rewards. Deborah’s outreach wasn’t a carefully planned strategic effort orchestrated to drive buzz. There was no market research involved. Deborah took off her marketing hat for a minute and provided a social gesture of thanks to someone whose blog she read and Twitter stream she followed. Even though the gesture ended in someone trying her product, she did it out of basic generosity.”

So my question is this… How can we genuinely reach out to people on a human level without them feeling like they’re one of our “targeted stakeholders?” It’s time to bring back face-to-face (F2F) communication where possible. What are some ways we can do this without making people into metrics for our clients?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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