Josh Stailey offers advice on starting a marketing dialogue

Josh Stailey

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Marketing can be tricky and starting a dialogue can seem impossible. Marketing dialogue is key, as those who only use marketing monologues will fail. Josh offers his advice on how to start a marketing dialogue that wins versus a monologue that fails.

Hi, I’m Josh Stailey from The Pursuit Group and I want to talk today about marketing and dialogue. And the key word there is dialogue because we're talking about a two-way conversation not a monologue. He certainly wouldn't walk into a bar with a megaphone and say, "hi there. I'm single and I'm looking and I have a good job." So why would you do it in marketing. Unfortunately, that's the way you see most marketing done today. And there are some perfect examples of it that are lousy. Every one of you have a pet peeve list, and I've got my own and I'm going to give it to you. But I'm also going to give you the winning version of it as well.

The first one is 800 numbers I call an 800 number and I get a recording that tells me something I don't want to hear, like I can't get the answer I'm looking for. Now to me, that's a great big FAIL. On the other, if I call an 800 number and I get a person who is not only friendly but actually can answer my question and goes out of their way to make sure I have everything I need, that's a certified WIN with a gold sticker.

Another one that is becoming increasingly important in the wired world today is the problem with websites with no real content on them. You've probably been to them. They are marketing websites. They've got all of the information out there about a product or about the company and its capabilities with a lot about, “my company,” “my CEO,” “my products,” but not to tell you enough for you to actually make a buying decision or learn a little bit more about it. What they want you to do is click on a response form or pick up the phone and call so they can actually sell you. Anymore, that's becoming increasingly a FAIL; people simply go on to the next company on their prospect list or potential buying list. It's sort of like saying your biggest competitor is the back button on your browser.

On the other hand, if you've got a site that is comprehensive and complete, is a potential buyer most if not all of the information that they need to both learn about your product, learn about its capabilities, and make an effective decision, you’ve got a WIN on your hands.

The next one is also in the digital realm and it's a pet peeve of almost everybody and that is carpet bombing e-mail. E-mails from people that you actually might want to connect with but they are relentless. They seem to believe that if they don't get their name in front of you every single day you may go somewhere else. That's a FAIL in todays wired world because what it does is it makes them memorable for the reasons that you don't want to have to do business with someone like that. Though WIN on that is simply e-mails that come when you want them, when you need them with the information you want and need and getting increasingly focused on your specific needs.

Still another and this is prevalent among a lot of business-to-business companies that feel like they have to get a sales person in front of you before they start delivering any information out about the product, its pricing, its configuration or anything else. So basically they don’t want to give our any information until a visit. And they put all their marketing efforts into selling you on having somebody in your office to sell you. That’s a FAIL. The WIN is, is when you can get a potential buyer information that they want to get with you and get the final details figured out and set. That becomes the WIN.

Finally, in a more modern context, let’s talk about shilling in social media. Social media is a great marketing tool, but if you spend any time on it at all, and I do, you discover that everybody can be classified in two ways. Those people who truly use social media for conversations and connectivity and those who have discovered just another way to carpet bomb you with their message, “buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff.” A Twitter entry that has 20 different Tweets over five days that same the same damn thing over and over again. That’s FAIL. WIN is that when you social media to expand your connections, to expand the information that you can deliver to people, to put information out there that allows people to find what they need, preferably from sources that aren’t you that validate the value of your product or service.

Those are enough examples. And I think you can see from that that listening doesn’t have to be dialogue, doesn’t have to be verbal. It can be almost any form of modern communication out there and it can be done well or it can be done badly. And I think your take away is that if you do it well, if you begin to listen, if you begin to act and respond directly to the questions and feedback of your prospects and customers, you’re going to close more of them, you’re going to close them for more money and you’re going to be able to use that extra income to leverage your marketing efforts, especially your dialogue into more and more success.

This is Josh Stailey again and thank you for watching. If you have any questions or comments, there’s a form just below me, fill it out and we’d love to hear from you.

About Josh

Our friend and contributor Josh Stailey passed away unexpectedly on September 10, 2011. We have valued his expertise and willingness to share his insights with us. We discussed the appropriateness of sharing content he provided before his death with his business partners at The Pursuit Group and they agreed sharing his expertise was a fitting tribute to Josh.

Josh Stailey was a 40-year veteran of the marketing and sales wars, a journalism-trained professional who understood the role of information and technology in today’s business world. A consultant and writer, he was a founding partner of The Pursuit Group, which specializes in designing and implementing demand-generation systems for small- and medium-sized businesses. He has also consulted with Fortune 500 companies on customer experience management and content system design.

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