Dale Carnegie and Marketing 2.0


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The CustomerThink.com editorial calendar proclaims 2008 as “A New World of Customer Engagement.” And January’s topic of interest kicks-off with “Harnessing the Social Web to Grow Your Business.”

Blogging, word of mouth marketing and social networks are certainly hot topics for marketers. As VP of Marketing for a b2b software company I’ll admit that I have 2008 initiatives focused on all three. I also serve as an associate faculty member for the University of Phoenix where my marketing students love to dig into those topics.

I’m not sure I would proclaim 2008 as “new” world though. Maybe “renew,” as in a renewed interest on an old concept … with a technology twist of course. Let me explain; Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people” was first published in 1936, and when it comes to relationship marketing, isn’t that what social networking, blogging and word of mouth is about? You want to create and nurture closer connections (win friends), and influence people.

Long before terms like customer-centric, customer-focused, customer experience, voice of the customer or customer engaged came into play, Dale Carnegie addressed the big secret of dealing with people: “The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want.” In other words, I need to be “you-centric.” Whether you’re talking about a product, service or solution, you need to find out what I want. If you have not read Dale Carnegie’s book in awhile, but you’re still determined to harness the social web this year, let me encourage you to dust off the cover. In chapter two you’ll find this golden nugget: “… the deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.”

So, let me ask you, how will you use the social web to make your customers feel important (and understood) without coming across as insincere or self-serving? Give this question a great deal of thought as you craft your blog, WOMM campaigns, and social networking strategy because the right way to engage customers in the new world has deep roots in good old human nature.

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