On a weekly basis, I receive direct mail, emails, newsletters, and of course social invites by cold, indifferent, faceless, nameless logos (see LinkedIn invite to connect below from UAE Investment?!?) What they completely miss is that business relationships are between individuals, not logos. That’s why I recommend to my clients to have an individual (with a friendly picture) managing, engaging, and influencing their online presence, i.e. “Hi, my name is Sandy and I’m responsible for my company’s social presence,” is much more engaging that “WELCOME to XYZ Corp’s Page on Twitter!”

As I wrote in Relationship Economics, we’re a visual, social society. We tend to interact with brands that we feel comfortable with; one that speaks to us, engages us, and reassures us in the gap between that brand promise and the actual brand experience. As Progressive with Flo, Allstate with Mayhem, and T-Mobile with the Pink Girl have all learned, brands must elevate themselves beyond the commodity that many are (it doesn’t get more of a commodity than insurance or mobile service), you must build relationships with individuals – see Forbes article on Progressive CMO Jeff Charney and Flo.

So, if you’re sending out faceless marketing campaigns, a) STOP – please! and b) go back to the drawing board and as my friend and author of Smart Customers, Stupid Companies, Bruce Kasanoff says, get SMART:

  • Segment customers by need and value
  • Modularize products and capabilities
  • Anticipate the needs of customers
  • Reward employees for win/win behaviors
  • Transform touchpoints, and make them smart

After all, only intelligent organizations will thrive and you need to figure out how to become one of them! One relationship at a time!


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