As marketers and communicators, I think balance is key to so many things we do. Over the next few days, I’m going to explore some of those things.
First one up is the brand’s end goal. At the core, I believe brands want 2 things:
1. Sell products
2. Create and develop relationships with consumers
Each can lead to the other, if done right. But without an eye on both, the sale can happen with nowhere to go.
I believe that it’s in “going” where the growing occurs. Growth can lead to more brand experiences or telling other people about it or best, loyalty.
But this growth is soft. It’s not as easy to see as a sale, especially after the sale occurs. We’re in a time, though, where technology makes it easier and easier to see this growth. There are many tools (specifically social media tools) and specialized talent that can help see beyond the sale.
The sale and the relationship are achieved through different strategies, different tactics, different people, and different tools. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and I don’t think any of my agency and/or brand colleagues would argue that point. But this is where the balance comes in. Sales come and go and yes, they drive business. But I think, more and more, the heart of the business is becoming the fans, the actual people who want to have a relationship with the brand. If the brand turns a blind eye to them, whether out of choice, ignorance, operations, or council, where does that leave the brand in the end? It leaves them in a position where they’re perceived to not care. And caring is a personal thing. An emotion. It’s soft.
But, it’s something that can influence thousands or millions of sales.
This is something that I’ve experienced makes people feel uncomfortable. It’s hard to understand and it’s hard to do. There is an ongoing debate on how you actually show real value to this relationship part. It’s not easy.
Here’s the deal, though – in our world where selling stuff is so important, there’s never been a greater bridge to form relationships as there is now, with the open web, on-the-go technology, and the people’s desire to be connected and grow with the brand.
It’s about seeing these relationships as equally important as the sale. And that’s the balance that you have to find.
I’d love to hear what you guys think about this. Is this a balance that you see as important, or better yet, strive to maintain?