Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Intangible Social Objects.

Continuing my recent thought that a social object used to faciliatate interest in one's product/service doesn't actually have to be an object, I even wonder if it has to be something with which the customer directly engages at all. Maybe it could be something that happens to the customer. The advantage with this type of social object is that the business can exercise significant influence on it. Some thinking aloud follows.

Behaviour as social object - people talk about the fact that your business walks the walk and that you consitently do what you claim you do.

Etiquette as social object - people like to belong and will talk about a place, be it real or virtual, be it club, society or user group, where everyone implicitly acknowledges a certain way of doing things.

Interaction as social object - people notice when you make it easy for them to do what they want to do. They talk about it and usage spreads.

Service as social object - people talk about little else. Get it wrong or get it right, you know that people will talk about this.

In a web 2.0 world, they could otherwise be known as authenticity, community, usability and customer-centricity. The commonality here? Good old differentiation. Not the faux differentiation of much advertising, but a real distance of difference separating you from the all too often mediocre norm. There's nothing like that to get people talking.


Blogger Charles Edward Frith said...

Thus putting flatulence into intangible social objects.

4:27 PM, April 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, John. This will most certainly get people talking, but more importantly, it retains those clients and customers you already have. And it is far cheaper (and subsequently more lucrative) to retain clients than to acquire new ones.

But the fact that people will discuss their great experiences will most certainly reiterate to themselves that they have chosen a good company to associate and do business with.

2:27 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

Thanks for commenting Scott - always good to see a new name - and yes you're right it's at the stage of being a loyal customer that one is most likely to be a persistent source of word of mouth.

Charles - not sure what you mean.

3:50 PM, April 22, 2008  

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