Who’s the weirdest person you know? I’m talking about the people in your life you could never use the term “middle of the road” to describe. Hey, it could be you! We are fast becoming a society of weirdos. We have so many choices, whether it’s the cars we buy or the music we listen to or the food we eat. We’ve become a fragmented society with highly-individualized preferences. If you’re like me, you’re weird by choice. How does a car dealer or any other business create interest in their brand when the audience has become so disjointed?
The customer has more information, more choice, more freedom and more interaction. Social marketing is how to reach them. Seth Godin speaks about this shift in his new book, “We Are All Weird“: “Mass is no longer a scalable, predictable way to engage with the public. The opportunity of our time is to support the weird, to sell to the weird and, if you wish, to become weird.”
I spent most of last week with 2,300+ weirdos. The Digital Dealer Conference in Vegas was the largest gathering to date of like-minded dealers and marketers who are just weird enough to embrace the power of Social and online marketing. The attendees were some of the brightest, most successful dealers in the world. How excited I was to hear others saying the same things I talk about everyday!
We are Social creatures who want what we want. I’m a devoted fan of CopyBlogger’s weekly podcast called, “Internet Marketing for Smart People.” They recently talked about the rise of the weird and the fragmentation of our culture. Buyers are looking for like-minded sellers with shared values and perspectives and the more fragmented our culture becomes, the more opportunity we have on Social Media.
In the Social economy, brands need to talk to different groups of people differently. People don’t just buy what you sell, they buy WHO YOU ARE. What hasn’t changed is the need for a stellar customer experience. Carl Sewell talks about the $517,000 customer. He says, “When they shop, they want a pleasant environment, and we want to give it to them, not because we want to sell them one car, but so that we have a chance to sell them ten or twenty. That’s the number of cars they’ll buy in a lifetime.” Every time you get a chance to sell a customer one item (be it a pack of gum or a car) you need to think about how much that customer represents in future business.
With Social marketing, you get the chance to sell every time you gain a Facebook Fan, every time you converse with someone on Twitter, every time they read your blog and every time they view your YouTube videos. If that customer buys from you, it’s a potential $517,000. If they refer a friend or family member, that represents another potential $517,000 in business.
Today there is a never-ceasing tide of weird. You can spend your time and effort betting on the status quo but it’s getting harder and harder to stand out in the crowded mob. Seth Godin submits, “There are better opportunities and more chances for growth if you market to and lead the weird.” Social Media marketing is inherently designed to do this. It’s nimble, it’s targeted and it has the power to change the tide of the weird.