Monday, February 8, 2010

The Sell

Mack Collier (@mackcollier) was tweeting that the issue most companies have with blogs (after "not having one") is this: Failing to deliver relevant or quality content and an inability to use it for business development. We have certainly been guilty of the blog as press release or portfolio approach.

Mulling what Mack said, it occurs to me that we might be able to talk a bit about "the sell." It really doesn't matter what the product or cause is. Seriously. Just like social media doesn't have a back door secret to being a cure-all for your marketing woes, the sell cannot be a sham. There are charts and graphs, how to books and lecture series presenting all the ways in which you can magically do x, y or z, but when it comes down to it, it's just like losing weight.

It's about the person.

The honesty.

The accountability.

Resolve. Tenacity. Willingness. Focus.

The sell is knowing who you are talking to and how what you are selling pertains to them. I'm not talking about amortizing the cost of a vacuum cleaner out for 3 years so that it is really only 23 cents a day. That's crap for a person on a budget— smoke and mirrors, nothing more. The sell shouldn't be speculative or projecting some feel good thing that at the end of the day does not benefit the person.

Do you believe what you are selling? Do you really believe that if I do what you are asking— wear it, eat it, buy it, give it— that I am genuinely going to reap the benefits?

Or, when the door is closed and the camera is off is the truth that you are just chasing a number, a goal and I am but a direct line or an unfortunate detour along that run?

We are people. Each of us with our own insecurities, capabilities, advantages and capacities. If, when you offer the sell, you do not sincerely take those things into account, if you put your own motives ahead of how I feel, you will fail. You may get me this time, but when the buzz of your potion wears off, I'll be left feeling used or swindled.

Social media, consumers and your bottom line will all eventually reveal the truth in whether you are offering something of value or are just one more snake oil salesman trying to steal my last dollar.

How you do what you do is up to you, but if relevance and quality are central to success, are you on a course to fail?



cas:ev said...

Hey guys,

From my position as a person in the media, your blog is/was great. It keeps me up-to-date with what you're up to and showcases your work. But, I guess I'm biased, I like press-releases ..

However, this post ("the sell") is a nice change, and is even more valuable to me as someone who would like to learn more about the business end of design/marketing.

Keep 'em coming.

PS Haven't gotten my cas:ev T-shirts printed yet. You will have some when I do, like it or not ..

Brian Keyrouze said...

Hey guys,

From a students point of view, many of our professors encourage us to blog and show our work, simply because it is a free tool that can get our name out there. I can't even count how many design blogs I check daily just to keep informed.

As for a business doing so, I see no issue. I enjoy following what you guys are up too. You guys were the reason I got into graphic design back when you let me shadow your firm when I was in high school.

Look forward to seeing more.