Provocative? I hope so! Today’s post is prompted by an email I read this morning. The author of the “marketing” piece stated the following, “now that we’re friends“. Really? I hardly think so.
A bit of background. I found the author of the post online and was intrigued with her seeming expertise with regard to how to maneuver the changes to Facebook. So, this past Friday I signed up for updates. Today’s post was an “update”.
Now I realize the “update” is a marketing piece, using email as the vehicle. What rattled my cage was the use of the word “friends” to describe a relationship that doesn’t exist. I haven’t a clue who the woman is and what gives her the authority as an expert in social media – Facebook specifically. While I think she can be a resource for me and perhaps our community at Neighborhood Boutiques, I hardly consider us “friends”!
Why not? Well our relationship doesn’t rise to the 1st definition of the word according to Dictionary.com: “
With the advent and popularity of social media, the word “friends” has taken on a whole new meaning. In fact, I think it’s been greatly diluted. So much so that the 6th Dictionary.com definition states: “
Perhaps I’m just a ‘vintage’ fuddy duddy, but I believe the best marketing “ploy” is honesty. Then truthfulness and finally a level of transparency. In fact, I’m loath to even use the word “ploy” in conjunction with “marketing”, as it denotes a level of dishonesty that truly puts me off.
I call this style of marketing – Hogwash! So much nonsense designed to draw me in with the assumption that I’m looking for friendship or that I’m needy enough to think friendship is nothing more than signing up for a regular email. I’m smarter and wiser than that – and I’m sure all of you are as well!
Marketing in this manner is nothing more than a sloppy way of encouraging me (and others) to buy what the seller offers. Marketing is one thing – sales quite another!
The adage “truth in advertising” applied to sales ought also be the motto for marketing and those who do it! Tweet This
I have my own definition for marketing. I view it as making others aware of something I or others are doing. While marketing is akin to sales and most marketing professionals want it to lead to a sale – for self or others; I don’t wrap them in the same package. I share what I’m doing – or those in our community are doing. It’s up to sales folks to reel in the fish and unhook the catch.
In fact, using a fishing analogy, marketers bait the hook and cast the line. Sales folks take the rod and reel at that point and bring in the catch, completing the desired outcome of “gone fishin'”.
The interesting thing about the fishing analogy is the tendency of avid fisher persons to exaggerate the facts, i.e. telling fish tales. And we all know that “fish tales” are often anything but the truth!
So how do we avoid the “fish tale” marketing trap? Well obviously it’s not alluding to a relationship that doesn’t exist. Wise women in business will catch that glitch every time; and the marketer’s credibility will take a little tarnish as the relationship continues. If indeed it does continue.
As a global society and culture immersed in social media that connects us with folks we’ll never meet face to face, it has, in my humble opinion, ‘cheapened’ the concept of friendship. The word has been used glibly by both the social media giants and those attempting to shove their way into the mainstream. Now it’s being used as a “marketing ploy” to make me feel good about the person who invited me to sign up for a regular e-letter.
Gee whiz! All I did was determine I could learn something from the person and signed up to partake of her knowledge and purported expertise. I wasn’t seeking a friend or friendship. If that’s what’s wanted; then perhaps I’m the wrong person to court!
In closing, could we return to a world where honesty, integrity and transparency rule the marketing world? Could we dispense with the “hogwash” and get back to basics? The basics of sharing honestly, openly and truthfully what we do – and what others in our circle of authentic friends do?
I don’t know. You tell me?
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Empowering Women to Thrive
You’ll find us at the following locations-Come Join Us!
Neighborhood Boutiques – OPEN NOW
COFFEE in the NEIGHBORHOOD
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Image Credit: Car Folks
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2382941337/pjm5n494765lxfks49h7_400x400.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]My passion is to see women become all they are designed to be – personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]