08 Jul Attraction rather than promotion
I was browsing through MarketingProfs’ extensive content looking for some blog ideas when I read a comment by the very smart Ann Handley who said a certain book was the one that “changed the way I approach marketing—from mostly outbound to mostly inbound—and shifted my thinking about the nature of the buyer-seller relationship.”
I’ve always had a certain amount of frustration with my industry for believing so fervently in the power of commercials and outbound marketing tactics to actually sell something. I’ve always believed that commercials and outbound campaigns work because they either start, support or accelerate an ongoing conversation. I also believe that the customer we all want – the one that not only comes back time and again, but recommends us to others – typically believes they’ve made a decision about selecting our product or service. In other words, they haven’t been sold.
New marketers believe in the power of attraction rather than promotion. And this isn’t a new idea. There’s an organization that has never competed, never spent a dime on public relations, never had a sales campaign and sells all of its products at cost. Nearly all members remain anonymous. Despite all this, it has become one of the most influential organizations in the world in the fight against alcoholism and drug addiction.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) started with just two men, and boasts more than 2,000,000 members today. AA’s 11th tradition of “attraction rather than promotion” is proof that viral growth needs no outbound advertising or sales campaign. AA’s story, spread by word of mouth through members, therapy professionals and treatment centers, has become one that most people know.
I’m not sure AA is proof that attracting customers is a much more powerful tool than outbound promotion , but I think it’s an interesting case study for that point.
Here’s a link to Ann’s article about The New Rules of Marketing and PR if you need it.