Published in: GHWSBT
Author: Scott Stratten
Description: a review of Scott Stratten's UnMarketing by Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande, Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University.
Ten years ago, author, speaker and marketing guru Scott Stratten was sitting in the office of a fellow salesman when the phone rang. On the line was another marketer, making a cold call and trying to sell something to Stratten's colleague. The friend berated the caller for wasting his time and told the fellow salesman to "get a real job." He then hung up the phone and told Stratten he had to get back to work making his calls for the day! The hypocrisy opened the author's eyes. Marketing the way we hate to be marketed to doesn't work! Unmarketing does.
Stratten is now the president of his own company, an expert in the industry and the author of the best seller UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging. The former business school professor and sales training manager is now helping companies like PepsiCo, Adobe and Red Cross find their social media voice. His success is built on a simple yet insightful premise: If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business. Unmarketing, Stratten says, is the ability to engage with your market, and social media is perfect at giving businesses the ability to have conversations and interactions with customers. Instead of 'push-and-pray marketing,' where something is dangled in front of a consumer hoping they bite, the author urges a more labor intensive, but ultimately more successful 'pull-and-stay' approach.
"There is no question, there is a lot more work to listening and talking to your customers, just like parenting is a lot more work when you actually engage your children. In the long run, it pays off," Stratten says with a smile. "Push-and-pray messaging worked when that was the only option. But things have changed and people want to feel they're being listened to. It's no longer 'buy or goodbye' when it comes to online or offline commerce. People have a voice using social media, and they're usually louder than the companies themselves."
Stratten's UnMarketing has it all, from profiles on which companies are doing engagement right (ie: Zappos, Rockport) to moves any business can make right now to build a stronger, more loyal customer base. Despite the successes of the unmarketing approach, there are still businesses who question the use of social media to get their message across. To Stratten, that's OK.
"I don't have a problem with people questioning social media," the author says. "You need to question anything you're going to spend significant time or resources doing. I don't believe social media is for anyone. Mandatory engagement is a bad term. If you hate people, it's not a great place to hang your hat."
The author says marketing happens every time you engage (or not) with your past, present and potential customers. Stratten makes the case for making the most of those engagements and I, for one, plan on heeding his advice. Who knows? Maybe our success story will appear as a chapter in his next book!
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