The New Small, Traditional Marketing, and Reaching People

Thoughts on how social media affects traditional marketing efforts.

Dawn Westerberg’s recent post on The New Small resonates with me on two levels. First, it’s nice to know that the book is already having the type of effect that I imagined when I wrote it. I’ll admit that it felt really good to know that I have inspired at least one person already. Let’s hope that more are coming.

The Limitations of “Marketing”

On a different level, her post made me think of a recent conversation that I had with a friend about marketing. My friend kindly offered to give me a list of people that I might want to “target” to do a social media seminar at her organization. I suppose that she would have provided the email addresses of people who might be most interested in attending. Needless to say, my friend has a traditional marketing background.

To be sure, I was thankful for the opportunity and know that it came from a good place. She was just being nice. At the same time, though, I declined. Why? Effectively cold-calling people to convince them to come to my seminar isn’t very, well, New Small. As you’ll discover (I hope) when you read the book, intelligent companies are:

  • putting great stuff out there
  • making it very easy for people to consume it
  • joining the conversation
  • making engagement as simple as a few clicks–or a single one

By doing that, people opt in and come to us. We don’t have to convince them that they need what we’re selling. We let our content do our convincing for us.

Simon Says

Old school marketers don’t understand that, in many cases, posts like Dawn’s are much more valuable than traditional marketing efforts. Dawn’s post is authentic and completely voluntary; she’s not receiving any money for her kind words (at least I haven’t been invoiced yet). She wrote her post because she wanted to write it. End of story.

Because Dawn just started reading the book, she inadvertently touched upon a key theme of the book: The New Small realizes the limitations of traditional marketing efforts. In fact, as a few of the case studies manifest, overt marketing is sometimes the last thing that we’ll do.

Because of her genuine post, Dawn’s community now knows who I am and they’re likely to check out the book. Her word of month is more effective any marketing or advertising efforts. And it’s completely free.

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