What’s the motivation behind your marketing efforts?

This is a real struggle for many businesses right now, because many existing efforts don’t seem to be working. They’re advertising like crazy, but sales have dried up because customers are extraordinarily cautious.

And the strong “buy my stuff!!!” messages can seem overbearing and insensitive.

Others are sending messages of caring and nurturing to such an extent that it feels manipulative and cynical. Last month you were twisting my arm to buy your air conditioner, and this month you’re all warm and fluffy and puppy dog eyes.

The reason this feels dishonest to customers is because it’s still results-first. The alternative is to put relationships first.

Which, by the way, is ALWAYS appreciated. Not just during times of uncertainty and stress.

Relationship-first marketing looks like:

  • Helping and generous
  • Giving before taking
  • Transparency
  • Honesty
  • Undemanding
  • Appreciation that the customer has their own priorities

Look at what kinds of marketing messages are feeling right to you right now – and particularly examples outside your own industry.

I’ve been very encouraged lately by the number of people and companies which have focused more on attending to the problems of society than on making the next sale. Yes, we’re all hurting in various ways; nobody envisioned this would be such a traumatic year.

But by helping each other, we’ll get through it. Battered, perhaps, but together.

By putting relationships first.