Branded Communications Must Provide Something Of Value

BusinessWeek offers eight dos and don’ts for marketing a small business via online social networks.
Here’s the first:

Communications consultant (and charisma coach) Olivia Fox Cabane says that trying to sell your products, services, or yourself when you first meet someone is the fastest way to ruin a networking relationship before it begins. Instead, she suggests using your own tools and expertise to give something to the other person.
On MySpace, too, the most successful businesses are ones that know how to give, whether it’s a downloadable screensaver, a chef’s exclusive recipes, or a roundup of upcoming local events. “This isn’t a direct marketing tool, this is human communication,” says Rob Key, chief executive officer of social marketing firm Converseon. “You don’t have to beat people over the head.”

It’s good advise that goes way beyond how to conduct oneself on MySpace. Marketers in general could learn alot from the “give something to the other person” book. Can you imagine advertising that actually offers something of value? I can.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.