Noah Brier wrote in the WITI newsletter today:

Loyalty is about nurturing behavior that defaults in a business’s direction.

Noah knows marketing. (Noah knows.) “Default” and “in a business’s direction” are spot on.  In a presentation on a digital comms planning tool “Twitch Point Planning,” I suggest “moving customers closer to a sale.”  Noah and I are intentional in being noncommittal. Non-absolutist.

Digital generation marketers think nirvana is going from an unknown brand to click-to-buy in a matter of keystrokes. That would be cool. (And it can be done. See a picture of a pair of unknown sunglasses on Kim Kardashian and BAM! Click to buy.) The belief that that steps-to-a-sale (Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action) can be collapsed into a click or two is a digital marketers’ dream. And fantasy. Frankly, it’s a cancer that metastasizes daily.  

A very famous McGraw-Hill ad states: 

“I don’t know who you are.
I don’t know your company.
I don’t know your company’s product.
I don’t know what your company stands for.
I don’t know your company’s customers.
I don’t know your company’s record.
I don’t know your company’s reputation.
Now – what was it you wanted to sell me?

Selling takes work. Building brand affinity and loyalty takes work. And it’s fragile. Back to Noah. If we don’t take a long-term approach to nurturing, if we don’t understand that loyalty is simply a default until something shinier comes along, we’re kidding ourselves.

One click sales is not branding. No foreplay. No demonstration of caring or consumer love. Just a click. A sale. Too many digital entrepreneurs are click-aholics. Clicks are not strategy.

Play the long game. The humble game. You have time.