I’m not against marketing at all, but in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, we need to start thinking about “influencing.” What’s the difference? Marketing is pitching your message to the customer, donor, or audience. Although you can certainly target based on demographics, geography, income levels, and more, it’s still more about you than about them. In other words, traditional marketing is about what you
want someone else to do – as in “buy my product,” “attend my church,” “watch my movie,” etc.
Influencing on the other hand has the customer, donor, or audience in mind as the first priority. What can my product do for them? Beyond simply selling a product, how can my marketing message educate, inform, or inspire them?
Social media is a great asset for influencing because it allows you to provide regular answers, information, and guidance to a wide variety of people from multiple platforms. Generation after generation businesses and communicators got it wrong. They believed our only responsibility was sending out a one-way message. But today, we also have a responsibility to make sure that message is received.
In the open media world of the future, those who simply advertise or promote without regard to the way the audience understands and responds will be left in the dustbin of history. You need to understand the technological changes that are happening today and the way those changes are transforming the way we communicate.
Change your traditional “marketing” mindset to an “influencing” mindset, and you’ll start developing loyal supporters, customers, and yes, even fans.