Socially awkward is a term I am hearing more and more these days. Usually it refers to people who are uncomfortable while with other people. The socially awkward, when they communicate, tend to lack social sensitivities. I would add to that definition a new behavior I’m seeing a lot whereby people don’t really listen to one another. That is more awkward.
A smart web and marketing company up in New Hampshire called First Tracks Marketing has posted about the ability to truly listen in business development and it has paid dividends. NPR did a piece recently (the wifus mentioned it, think she was telling me something?) in which they cited how America Indians in tribal council allow a person to speak, but then make everyone wait a good amount of time before another speaker goes, creating time to think about what was said.
The problem with many marketing plans today (and brand plans for that matter) is that they are socially awkward. They suffer from running their mouths, without really listening. Now I understand advertising is a broad cast medium but ads based-on listening and research score better. Connect better. Also ads that don’t kitchen sink the form. With the web, engagement scores go up as we listen to consumers. Polls were an early marketing winner on Facebook.
One of my greatest emails ever was to MT Carney, an early owner of Naked Communications. In it I told her I had a great ear. That was pretty much it. Got the meeting.
So listen up marketers. It’s not an art – it’s a commerce. Peace!