Monday, April 14, 2008

Play ball!

As the baseball season kicks into gear, Seth Godin has a post about a post at squidoo that breaks online interactions into two groups: catchers and throwers (well, ok, I would have called it pitchers and catchers).

Seth's premise is that the end result of spam on your brand--where spam is anything that is impersonal and that hasn't earned the recipient's time--is corrosive. He relates an example that many business to business professionals have surely encountered: Faux personal messages asking for your time and engagement in an exclusive opportunity...often from very reputable and well known brands...only to reveal that they are neither personal, exclusive, or interested in your needs. A whole host of company newsletters are just one category.

So what?

In any meaningful relationship (inside or outside of commerce), the dialogue has to be personal and respectful if either party is to earn the right to make a request. For marketers, the right to make a request of prospects is even more one-sided in favor of the prospect. It would seem that our effforts require that the form of the dialogue follow the function to which the prospect would apply it...and that marketers would do well to get the quality of the conversation right before we worry over the quantity.

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