Where Are Your Blind Spots?

Everyone should follow the golden rule, right?

No, no, not the one that says “he who has the gold makes the rules.” I’m talking about the golden rule we all grew up with.

Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Works for kindergarten and it works now, right?

The key to wealth, health, happiness and world peace?

Not necessarily.

The platinum rule

There’s another rule, sometimes called the platinum rule.

“Do unto others as they would want done to them.”

The platinum rule doesn’t take your likes and dislikes as the standard. It gets your ego out of it (as much as possible) and puts your customer at the center, where she should be.

(One hotel management pundit even came up with a double platinum rule, where you’re expected to anticipate what your customer would like if only she knew about it. Sounds suspiciously like marketing to me.)

How to use the golden rule to drive your customers up the wall

I have a friend who runs a service business. He’s extremely conscientious. It’s very common for him to spend three or four unbilled hours researching the cheapest possible solutions for his customers.

There’s just one problem. His customers are ready to strangle him.

In almost every case, they don’t actually want the absolute cheapest way to solve the problem. They prefer a solution that’s packaged for convenience. Or that comes with a help desk so they can ask dopey questions. Or that just gives them the nice warm feeling of certainty they have when they buy a name brand.

His efforts to save them money too often cost them time and aggravation. And even now, most customers will be happy to spend money to save on time and aggravation. (They at least appreciate being given the option.)

He’s living by the golden rule. He would love it if a vendor bent over backwards to save him money, and he assumes that’s what his customers want.

It’s not. But he can’t get out of his own head long enough to see that.

Making it about their needs

It’s incredibly hard to think like another person. We all believe we do, but we have blind spots.

My friend can’t conceive of a customer who’s got bigger worries than cash flow.

I have a hard time remembering that most customers don’t want an overwhelming map of all the territory they could cover, they just want a fast map to get where they want to go.

You’re not going to be able to wave a magic wand and get completely out of your own head. No one is so enlightened that they don’t fall into this trap. Even the Dalai Lama probably assumes that everybody likes yak butter.

How to find your own blind spots

The next time a customer gets mad at you, try to listen for what might really be going on. Did they take your professionalism for condescension? Did your relatively minor screw-up make them look bad in front of a friend?

What assumptions did you make about this client relationship? Try to look at even the ones you think are ridiculously obvious. If you can get into a productive conversation about it with the customer, that’s fantastic. It will make the customer feel good and it will help you get smarter.

Surveying your customers works, too. To get out of blind spot hell, remember to leave things open-ended. If you create multiple-choice questions, you’re just asking people to validate what you’ve already decided.

How about you?

What blind spots have caught you up lately? Let us know in the comments.

Flickr Creative Commons photo by woodleywonderworks

Dumb Things Small Businesses Do
#6: Ingratitude

chihuahua dressed as a turkey

So instead of the obligatory Thanksgiving post where we talk about gratitude (don’t get me wrong, I think gratitude is awesome), I’m going to assume you know enough to stop for a second and remember how much amazing stuff is in your life. How many fantastic people, how much material abundance (even when it doesn’t feel that way), how much freedom.

Instead, today we’re going to talk about a dumb mistake that lots of businesses make. Big businesses are actually dumber than small ones on this topic, but if you think I was going to pass up the chance to use this photo, you’re nuts.

Anyway, most big businesses are too inflexible to turn this around. But you’re small and maneuverable, which is why you’re going to clean up.

The Easiest Way to Make Money

Even in the midst of all this financial panic and freefall, there is a nice big pot of delicious money sitting on the table for you.

No painful mountains to climb, no spiteful deities to appease, no hefty entrance fee to pay.

That pot of money is held by the customers who already trust you and know that you’re cool. They would like to give you some more money. But they need a little bit of help to do that.

Let Them Know They’re Appreciated

Customers drift away because they don’t think you love them. They don’t hear you saying how grateful you are for their business, and they don’t hear that they’re valued and cared for.

So many businesses think “marketing” is the same thing as “lead generation.” In other words, that marketing equals chasing down strangers so you can wrestle them through a conversion process and turn them into customers.

Lead gen and conversion are expensive. They’re either costing you time, money, or most likely, both.

Lead gen and conversion are important. But if you want to make life a lot easier and more enjoyable, set aside some of that time, money and attention and put it into existing customers.

Existing customers already know you’ve got good things to offer. They’ve demonstrated that they’ll pay for what you provide. But they need to know you appreciated their business last time.

Keep Making Yourself Useful

One of the smartest things you can do is to consistently and systematically put yourself in front of customers. Not to keep hammering them with requests for business, but to offer a hand of friendship and support.

If you can call your existing customers up regularly to ask how they’re doing and if they need anything, that’s great. But most businesses can’t scale that kind of individual attention. Instead, create a warm, personal-feeling communication system that reminds customers of why they bought from you in the first place.

My free e-class on email marketing walks you through all the basics on how to create this kind of communication. And you can use the same steps for blogs and paper newsletters as well.

In fact, a paper newsletter, while obviously more expensive to send, is also very likely to gain you better response and put more dollars into your pocket. Could you create a quarterly snail-mail newsletter for customers, with email editions to fill in the gaps?

Don’t let your perfectionism kill you on this one. Make it simple, print it up on your photocopier or at Kinko’s, and get it out there. Unless you’re a graphic designer, your newsletter doesn’t need to win design awards. It needs to communicate with your customers.

Ask for Their Business

No, you don’t want to pound your customers (or prospects, for that matter) with nonstop messages to buy-buy-buy.

But don’t neglect to make the offer, either. You never know when any given customer is going to be in the perfect place to buy from you.

Keep wrapping up your stuff in attractive offers. You might offer a special free gift to existing customers when they buy from you. (Special free gifts don’t have to be expensive, but, please, they can’t be lame.) Think about how you can wrap your expertise in interesting new boxes and ribbons. Offer those up regularly.

When you do make an offer, don’t mumble. Be incredibly clear about what you want them to do, how you want them to do it, and what they’re going to get out of it.

If you think you’re being overly specific, you probably have it about right.

Ask for Referrals

Make your newsletter content irresistible, then invite your customers to forward it to their friends. Let customers know that their friends are your very favorite source of new business. Give a nice, thoughtful thank-you gift for a referral. (See the note above about non-lameness of gifts.)

When someone spontaneously thanks you for doing a great job, immediately ask if you can turn those words into a testimonial. Nearly everyone will happily say yes. Then quickly work up some wording that gets the essence of what they said, send it to them, and confirm that you may use it and their name in your marketing.

What if You Don’t Have Any Customers Yet?

Find someone who has the customers you want. If you’re a nutritionist, maybe this person is an acupuncturist or a personal trainer or the manager of a health food store.

That person is not following up with their customers either. Show them this post and help them put together some great customer communication. Work through the email class together. (Let’s face it, you’re a lot more likely to act on what you learn if you’ve got a buddy to work with.)

Introducing you is a great way for your new partner to kick off a customer communication program. And you and your partner can come up with twice as much tasty, beneficial content, split the work, and double your customer base.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

7 Dumb Things Small Businesses Do

Don’t miss all 7 dumb things! Subscribe (for free, of course) right now in a reader or by email.

Relationship Marketing or Social Media?

relationship marketing duels it out with social media

I met a woman recently who’s a relationship marketing expert. Her expertise lies with big, household name companies–she uses different tactics, but most of them are various flavors of "frequent flyer" programs that reward ongoing customer relationships.

She says that she gets the question all the time, "We only have budget for one thing this year–should we do relationship marketing or social media?"

She works with giant companies and I work with small organizations, but this question drives us equally nuts. So here’s the answer.

You do both.

Most forms of social media are great for attracting attention
A YouTube video, a Squidoo lens, a Facebook app, a Digg or Del.icio.us or Stumble strategy–all of these do one thing particularly well. They capture attention.

The proliferation of advertising messages is starting to approach something out of a Philip K. Dick novel. The thicker the stream of messages, the better we get at tuning them out. In marketing jargon, this is known as "clutter" and it’s a serious problem if you’re trying to get the word out about what you do.

Social media is particularly handy at "flipping the funnel" to cut through information clutter. It works by convincing people who like you (a lot) to tell their friends about you.

The idea is, advertising messages are basically wallpaper, especially for the "most desirable" demographics (young people & rich people). Traditional advertising is invisible to the people it most wants to convince. But recommendations from friends are inherently relevant and interesting. So when you convince your customers to talk about you, you can capture the attention of potential new customers in a very quick and very vivid way.

There’s one downside: capturing attention for attention’s sake gets annoying in a hurry. Once you have someone’s attention, you need to build on that and start creating a relationship.

Some forms of social media are great for building relationships
Blogs and customer forums will help your company create a relationship with the people you attract. Rather than bungee-ing in and out based on price or where you’re ranking on Google today, your customers get to hang out and form tribes based on what you have to offer.

These tribal relationships can create a powerful bond, but they’re also demanding. As the "social object" at the center of that particular tribe, you need to participate in that messy, complicated conversation in order to keep your own credibility.

Forums and interactive spaces give customers a handy platform to talk you up. Of course, you may have figured out the scary part already–the same platform is just as handy to knock you down.

But if you’re good (and you have to be good to survive any more, there are too many businesses and services and products and organizations that are scary good), your fans are going to douse any flames started by your detractors. An army of rabid fans is the best crisis plan there is. When you can convince someone who isn’t you to defend you from the slings & arrows, you’ve officially moved your game to a whole new level.

There are plenty of relationship tactics that don’t involve social media (you can find some of those described in my relationship marketing series). There are hundreds of ways to create better connection with your customers, and lots of them fit into a more traditional marketing & communication framework.

So there’s your answer. If your culture can adapt to it (you’re highly flexible, comfortable with radical transparency, and willing to be insanely responsive), social media can be extremely effective. But don’t bother "doing social media" unless you have some solid ideas about how to build on the relationships you start.

You can have the cleverest YouTube video ever shot, but if you have no way to create a relationship based on the attraction you create, that cleverness will evaporate when the next motorcycle-riding monkey comes along.

Relationship Marketing Series #4: Show Up

80% of life is showing upMy much-loved friend Jon once told me he lives by three rules: Show Up, Pay Attention, Don’t Lie. He says that even when things get pretty hairy, those three are simple enough to remember. Over the years, I’ve found them a handy combination, and they actually do cover about 98% of what you have to deal with.

They work just as well in the work world or the blogosphere as they do in your personal life. And breaking them will mess things up for you in those worlds as surely as they will at home. Today I’m going to spend a little time on the first of that trilogy, Showing Up.

80% of success is showing up

That’s a Woody Allen quote. His personal life notwithstanding (what do I know, I don’t know the guy), you’ve got to give him the showing up part.

Year in and year out he makes movies. Some of them are amazing and some of them stink. I love Sweet and Lowdown and hate Mighty Aphrodite. You may feel just the opposite. Doesn’t matter.

Woody Allen keeps showing up, decade after decade. Sometimes he comes up with works of genius that make the rest of it worthwhile. His movies are cheap to make, so they don’t lose money even if they mostly bomb. (This last point is a very useful lesson for marketers.)

He doesn’t know where his own creative imagination and the talents of his people will take him, and it’s not his business to know that before he gets there. He keeps showing up to find out.

Sometimes you create an instant relationship with a customer–they find you right away and they’re a raving fan forever. Usually, though, it takes a lot of time. You have to keep showing up. You keep sending great content in your newsletters and email, you keep making strong offers, you keep your unique value proposition in front of them. Trust takes a long time to build and an instant to destroy. So put the time in.

(Having said all that, there’s a fine line between sticking a relationship out and sticking with something that doesn’t work. Spend some quality time figuring out your resources and what you think it’s going to take. Work out how long you’ll keep showing up before you call it a failed experiment. Then show up every single day until your deadline. Sometimes great things happen at the last minute.)

Show up where your customers hang out

While you’re doing all this showing up, you might want to give some thought to where you’re going to do that. A great place to show up is where your customers hang out.

Online forums, charity marathons, blogs, Facebook, coffee shops, subway stations, shopping malls, community gardens, Squidoo, MySpace, Hub, Gather, The Well. Every crowd has its favorite hangouts. The very best thing you can do, when you find the hangout, is to figure out how to create or participate in a conversation there. Become part of the community. Interact. Ask questions.

Don’t “market” or “message” or “pitch,” and for god’s sake don’t pontificate. Just show up, be trustworthy and make yourself useful.

Show up even when it’s hard

Yes, sometimes the conversation gets ugly. Yes, sometimes your customers throw bottles at you when you were just trying to do something nice. Yes, you will definitely lose control of your message. Yes, you’ll get nasty feedback. Yes, you’ll look like an ass sometimes. Yes, at least one person will call you an idiot. Yes, you’ll screw up. Yes, conversation is risk.

Retreating from the conversation when it gets scary is an excellent recipe for failure. Your tormenters will call you a coward and they’ll be right.

Stick it out. Keep showing up. Dodge the bottles, maybe even throw a couple back if you have to, but don’t run away. In social media (or anywhere), your presence will speak volumes.

The measure of any relationship is whether you keep showing up when things get really hard. When you do, your actions speak louder than any words you could come up with.

More Woody Allen quotes

Courtesy of IMDB.

I was thrown out of NYU for cheating on my Metaphysics final. I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me.

For me, being famous didn’t help me that much. It helped a little. Warren Beatty once said to me many years ago, being a star is like being in a whorehouse with a credit card, and I never found that. For me, it was like being in a whorehouse with a credit card that had expired.

Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.

To you, I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.

(and my personal favorite): I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it by not dying.

The Relationship Marketing Series

Relationship Marketing Series #3: Come Out of the Closet

fancy-chihuahuaA young blogger recently came out of the closet. Her long-term relationship had just fallen apart, she was heartbroken, and she just didn’t want to keep up any more pretenses.

The interesting part wasn’t coming out about her sexual orientation. Anyone who still cares about that is someone you can definitively do without. (Not counting your parents, that part is still pretty hard.) The interesting part was her coming out about her hatred of long-form squeeze pages, autoresponder sequences and FaceBook.

She was a dutiful student of a high-profile Internet marketing program that fed all of these things to their students. She repeated them like a good girl on her blog, and carefully let her readers know about her progress. She researched her niches and keywords and worked on her backlinks.

Finally, when she was too heartbroken to give a damn, she confessed that all this stuff seemed spammy, pointless and gross.

Aha, now that is interesting.

You’ll never be remarkable dancing to someone else’s song

Our heartbroken young blogger was pretty good at the paint-by-numbers routine. She stood out on the forums, she got herself noticed, she built a little following. She was doing perfectly OK.

But that little jolt of authenticity woke her readers up and made them really pay attention. A lot of them admitted they hate that stuff too. Telling the truth opened up a space for real connection, for real passion. Her little band of followers noticed, and told her so. She’d found something real, and the value in that was palpable.

I don’t know if she’ll take advantage of that opportunity to create a new niche for herself. Maybe she’ll market to the legion of folks who don’t much like hideous squeeze pages and spam tactics. Maybe (hopefully) she’ll use that energy to come up with something really unpredictable. If she’s going to find real success, that’s the right place to look.

Some of the step-by-step Internet marketing programs look a lot like factory work to me. Take part A, connect it to part B like you were shown how to do, repeat until someone gives you new instructions.

Nobody buys it anyway

It’s interesting how hard it is to pull off being something you’re not. No one actually believes that your business is bigger than it is (and anyway, we all know Small is the New Big). No one is willing to read through the pile of verbiage you’re using to describe your leveraged dynamic synergies.

Most of all, no one gives a rat’s ass about the huge investment of energy you spend trying to be like everyone else.

Most of us (maybe not Pema Chodron or the Dalai Lama, but the rest of us) spend most of our time and energy carefully cultivating our masks. And those masks are almost universally a) laughably transparent, and/or b) boring.

It seems simple, and it is, but it’s also hard. Being remarkable means being different. “Different” is not actually all that far from “weird.”

The great thing about the Internet is you can now find all the people in the entire world who are weird in the same way you are. (That’s the only definition you really need for the Long Tail.) It’s your own cheap, portable New York City. Everything is here–and you get to make a connection with the other weirdos who value your precious, unique brand of freakiness.

One of the great cornerstones of marketing (note to self, must add this to the marketing tool kit for my newsletter) is differentiation. You’ll also see it called the unique value proposition or unique selling proposition. You need to find out, and communicate, what makes you unlike all of your customers’ other options. What makes you uniquely valuable. What makes you interesting. What makes you remarkable.

What makes you weird.

It turns out your mom was right. Just be yourself, and someone will love you exactly as you are.

When I was a young adult, it never, ever occurred to me that I might be passionate about business–or, even worse, marketing. I grew up in a solidly lefty household and majored in the hardest liberal arts subject I could find and lived in Berkeley. We just didn’t think about these things. Coming out of the closet for me meant actually acknowledging my interest in (gasp) how corporations work and (gasp) how to convince people to buy things.

Since I finally figured out my own orientation (with a little denial and shame along the way), things have started to come together for me. I’m finding work I think is deeply cool. I’m making connections with smart people I admire. And I can pay the mortgage by doing interesting stuff, which is always very nice.

Just don’t tell my dad. He’s cool about a lot of things, but he’d never understand this one.

The Relationship Marketing Series

Relationship Marketing Series #2: Don’t Be a Bad Boyfriend

smoking-creepy-dude

Most businesses spend most of their marketing budget finding new customers. That’s because finding new customers is expensive.

Prospective customers tend to spend a lot of time viewing you with fear and suspicion. They know you’re trying to sell them something, and they don’t trust anything you say. After all, you just might turn out to be Hannibal Lecter.

So you do the work (which fails most of the time) of establishing rapport, developing a low-risk offer, building trust, repeating contact, guiding them through a purchasing funnel and basically coddling the holy hell out of them until they become trusting, happy customers.

All that is fine. It’s good, in fact. Over the long haul, you need to bring in happy new customers to stay healthy.

Here’s the other thing you need to stay healthy . . . and you need it every day.

You need happy existing customers

Your existing customers really want to like you. They’ve spent money on you already, so if they don’t like you, they feel like idiots–and feeling like an idiot is painful.

You’re familiar. The last time they did business with you, you didn’t eat their liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti. You represent a low risk, which means if you’re reasonably good, you’re probably good enough for them to use again next time.

So out of the customers who end their relationship with businesses, on average, what’s the reason about 2/3 of them go?

They don’t feel appreciated.

You can’t say ‘I love you’ just once

There are boyfriends out there who think that if they’ve admitted to loving you once, that ought to do it pretty much forever. (If this is you, repent immediately.) Your customer, like the object of your romantic affections, wants to hear it all the time.

The magic words are actually amazingly similar. “We love our customers. Thank you for [describe specific thing you love about them].”

Just like in a romantic relationship, you have to use the words and you have to show you mean it. Send your best customers little gifts, just because you love them. They don’t have to be expensive, but they should be memorable and they should be relevant to your relationship. Be careful about falling for pointless widgets that are mostly remarkable in a “WTF?” way.

Some great gifts include small trial-size versions of your product (this isn’t just for shampoo–put some creativity into this one), buy one/get one offers just for longtime customers, customer appreciation sales that are closed to the general public. You get the idea.

Don’t only give a present when you want some lovin’. Referral gifts or premiums with big orders are great, but you also want to give a little gift sometimes just to say “thanks for being with me, I love you.” Give a gift without asking for anything in return.

(How often? Slightly more often than you think is necessary.)

Don’t treat the waitress better than you treat your date

I have a friend who has his milk delivered by a dairy. The milk is really good–it’s much fresher than you can get at the supermarket, and the price is similar. On the other hand, it’s a slight extra hassle–writing another check every month, remembering to bring in the milk on delivery days, etc.

He went on vacation recently and his delivery didn’t start up again when he had expected it to.

He called the nice customer service lady. She gave him a probably overly long explanation (excuse) about why it hadn’t worked the way he thought it should. That was ok.

He asked if she would be able to send him some milk in the next day or two.

“Sorry, we aren’t set up to do that.”

“OK, but I see your sales van here twice a week with free milk samples for people who haven’t signed up yet–could he just bring a half gallon by?”

“Oh, no sir. That milk is just for new customers. We can’t let him deliver milk to existing customers, it’s against the rules.”

My friend dumped the dairy.

Never treat strangers better than the nice, loyal folks who fund your payroll month in and month out. (And if you are dumb enough to do that, don’t get caught.) Understand that it costs you five or ten or twenty times more to find a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.

If for some strange reason you have to piss off a prospect to take care of a customer, that’s the smart thing to do every time. (And if you tell your prospect why you’re doing it, she’ll remember the kind of company you are.)

Understand, too, that crazy-in-love customers will jump at the chance to act as your unpaid sales force. They’ll bring new customers to your door for a tiny fraction of what it would cost a formal marketing campaign to entice a stranger.

And that referral business tends to be an overall far more pleasant experience for you and your employees. Referred customers are less sensitive to price. They whine less. They’re less likely to ask you to jump through hoops to prove yourself. They’re less high-maintenance, in other words. More June Carter Cash, less Alanis Morissette.

(This is getting a little too far into Big Love territory, sorry about that.)

The rules are easy to learn and easy to forget. You won’t rememember it unless you make a point of it. So sit down with your calendar and work out when you’re going to give your customers a great big sloppy, sincere “I love you.” Don’t just calendar one occasion–calendar a series to cover all of 2008.

It’s either that or risk spending mega marketing dollars on the equivalent of dial-a-date. Up to you.

The Relationship Marketing Series

Relationship Marketing Series #1: Create a Human Connection

love-monkeys

This is the first in an occasional (in other words, whenever I get a wild hair) series on the essentials of relationship marketing.

Relationship marketing focuses on nurturing ongoing relationships with customers, instead of strip-mining prospects for one-time purchases. There have been dozens of riffs on this over the last 15 years or so, with labels including one-to-one marketing, permission marketing, share of customer, and referral & retention marketing.

They all boil down to the same idea–create a stronger emotional connection with existing customers, and turn them into loyal advocates. Not only is this more fun, it’s much more profitable. Selling to someone who knows, trusts, and likes you takes a lot fewer resources than selling to strangers.

If you’re a giant conglomerate, this is important. If you’re a tiny little business, it’s vital. Small businesses don’t have the capital or the momentum to attract an unlimited number of new prospects. Fortunately, it’s also a lot easier for tiny little businesses to relate to customers on a human scale. Forget about looking big. If you’re a one-person shop, you can get tremendous mileage out of turning your human individuality into your remarkable brand.

We’re hard-wired to relate

Legendary cranky old ad guy Gary Halbert said that if you had a star, a story, and a solution, you had what you needed to create a viable business. (I’d argue that you have what it takes to create a viable marketing campaign, but that’s not such a different animal.) The “star” part comes from having a human being to hang your story on.

There are plenty of examples of successful faceless companies, but having a person (or persona) that customers can relate to is one of the easiest shortcuts to building a relationship. People, fictional or real, are easy for us to understand and identify with.

For example, I became a Squidoo enthusiast partly because I’m a Seth Godin enthusiast. On a lizard-brain level, becoming a Squidoo lensmaster was a way for me to participate in a quasi-relationship with Godin–to become part of his story.

Consider the brilliance of Apple’s campaign pitting the cute, hip Apple guy against the schlubby, hapless PC guy. Those characters embodied the qualities Apple wanted us to believe about each product. We instantly got it (even those of us who happen to prefer PC guy).

Tony Robbins and Dan Kennedy and Martha Stewart have something in common: their customers feel like they know them personally. Those customers will forgive foibles (most of them), and they’ll accept modest glitches in service. Now think about service problems you might have had (or heard about) with AOL, AT&T, or Comcast. It’s much easier to hate those folks. They lack a human face, and we have no inclination to give those companies any benefit of the doubt.

We’re hard-wired to gossip

Not only do we have an innate desire to relate to other humans, our DNA practically compels us to tell stories about them. We yak endlessly about who we hate, who we love, and what we think of their choice in shoes. We have opinions about Warren Buffett and Lee Iacocca and Bill Gates, and those opinions color how we feel about their companies.

Having a human identity to hang your brand on makes you intrinsically more remarkable–that is, intrinsically easier to tell stories about.

Does it matter if your company’s face is a real one? I wish I could remember the source of the quote “there’s no difference between Betty Crocker and Madonna, cultural impact-wise.” (Leave me a comment if you know it!) Our reactions to the human-ness of another person work the same way with real people as they do with fictional characters. Our conscious brain knows the difference, but our unconscious lizard brain doesn’t seem to. The only caveat is that, if you’re a small business and you create an elaborate fictional representative of your company, you should make that fiction plain. People like to be tricked (up to a point), but they don’t like to feel like they’ve been tricked.

Why did I use two monkeys to illustrate this story? I’m talking about human connection, but that connection goes deep to our monkey brain. Remarkable communication is, at its essence, about speaking to the heart of what drives us. It’s not about about rationality and analysis. This is fundamental mammal stuff–connection, love, and belonging.

The Relationship Marketing Series

Related reading: