Brand marketing vs. personal sales
Many brands would love to utilize the power of New Media, but shifting away from traditional media methodologies is not easy, especially for the older and larger agencies. Currently personal sales seems to be a much better fit for new media which raises the question, "how do we make brand marketing personal?"
There’s one business model in particular that I think fits the New Media mold perfectly. There’s an irony here because the industries that use it seem to have positioned themselves as the late majority, or dare I say laggards, along the product diffusion curve of New Media technology. The model I’m talking about is that of insurance, real estate, accounting, and even pharmaceutical.
Here’s how it works: a parent company owns and cultivates the brand. Smaller organizations, either through licensing or branching, work independently to sell that brand. Within the child organization individuals work, mostly on commission, to build relationships and sell products offered by that brand. It’s the perfect storm of New Media! Personal sales with a regional organization for product support and a parent company for brand support. Think about it. When you want an insurance agent, real estate agent, or doctor, accountant what’s the first thing you do? Ask a few trusted friends for a recommendation.
What if that trusted friend followed an accountant on twitter because she gives regular tips on how to save money and invest wisely? What if an insurance agent has a blog where he doles out creative ways to use insurance to better your financial situation enabling you to retire sooner and wealthier? How about a real estate agent that posts youTube videos on things to look for when evaluating a potential new home purchase and ways to inexpensively improve the value of your current home? What if these personalized sales agents market to people by providing everyday value, not just when they want something?
The result: personalized service that provides value to the customer, referrals to the agent, sales to the agency, and strengthens the brand. Which, of course, leads to more referrals to the agent, sales to the agency….
This is critical mass marketing. This is Marketing 2.0.