The More Digital We Go, The More Important Relationships Become.

Aug 24, 2014Marketing Strategy

[mashshare]

Marketing has gone digital, as in like full speed ahead. But I have a theory that, when after all the big data numbers are crunched, relationships still come out on top. In fact, as technology takes over marketing, my theory states that relationships will actually become more important than they’ve ever been.

Here’s my theory.

Video: The More Digital We Go, The More Important Relationships Become

Tech as (just) the facilitator.

Tech is really just a tool in marketing. It’s the grease that lubes the gears of commerce. It helps to facilitate conversations (between people, don’t forget). Tech isn’t the conversation for most businesses.

Marketers are doing a better job every day leveraging tech to get their messages out. The Internet (and eventually the “Internet of Things“) has certainly helped in these efforts. Experiential marketing’s uprise and success has shown that people want to interact with each other and with brands. Tech provides more ways for that to happen.

Social media is (all) about connections (even for brands).

Social media is a part of tech, but I think it’s worthy of its own mention in a theory on marketing and technology. Social media is a channel, just like organic search, pay-per-click, radio or TV are channels for marketing. Successful marketers have shown that marketing on social is different than other channels, though.

Social is for conversations and connections. Social isn’t typically the best place for the “hard sell”. Rather, it’s the place were brands, both large and small, can add a human element to their company. Case in point: a recent interaction I had with global brand Honda. I tweeted a photo of myself and my new vehicle and they noticed. They took this opportunity to interact with me. One-on-one. The interaction was simple, but meaningful for both the brand and the consumer.

Honda nailed it in this interaction. They didn’t try to sell me rubber floor mats or an extended maintenance contract. They just talked to me, not at me.

Business is (based on) trust.

People, whether in a B2B or B2C environment, give their business to someone they trust. They trust that person (or company) will fulfill the promises made and deliver on the product or service being promised. This is true in healthcare, IT, the auto industry or even the fast food industry.

We give our businesses to those we trust.

The more I know you, the more likely I am to trust you. How many deals have you been a party to where knowing someone within the organization helped to facilitate the deal? Maybe it was just enough to get your foot in the door, but that’s all it took, right? You had an established relationship and leveraged that trust to do business.

Photo By Aleksi Tappura

What do you think?

Tech will continue to grow in importance in all fields of business. Marketing is really no different than the others in this regard. However, technology can never truly replace relationships. At least not as long as decisions are still made by people. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Please leave a comment below or feel free to contact me with your thoughts.

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