This afternoon I saw the best example of marketing I have seen in ages, a metaphor for what it takes to be successful in this crowded, commoditised world.
Two youngsters, dressed in jeans and the T-Shirt of the Cancer Council were stopping people in the street and trying to have a chat with a view to extracting a donation. Both were working hard, were well presented, earnest, spoke well, and had big welcoming grins on their faces. However, one was far more successful than the other in both successfully stopping people, engaging in a conversation, and then extracting a donation.
The less successful was approaching people with the grin, and welcoming patter, only to have most people just brush by. The second did one more very simple thing, he offered his hand, and in almost every case, it was taken, the person stopped, and a conversation started.
The automatic reaction to the simple generosity of offering a hand in welcome was almost irresistible, even to total strangers, in a situation where they knew the “bite” was coming.
Think about your marketing, traditional or social, do you offer the metaphoric hand? Is the follow up “conversation” sufficiently interesting that it has the chance of engaging a potential customer to the point where they will give you their business?
I think offering a hand is the original Social Media, and it still works better than anything else.