The common theme here is this: you're not marketing to customers, you're seeking a relationship with a person.
Here's a quick roundup:
- AdverGirl's tip for successful B2B - treat it like it's B2C. People run businesses. You're marketing to another business PERSON, not a mindless impersonal entity!
- Andy Sernovits commends Costco and Jet Blue's outstanding PEOPLE oriented PEOPLE powered customer support (Costco and Jet Blue).
- Update: Click here for another great post on Starbucks and employee-customer/people service empowerment.
- Katie at Get Shouty posts about Everyday Activism and PEOPLE marketing (not consumer marketing).
- Duct Tape Marketing on relevancy in blog comments - hint: market within the blogging environment, not at bloggers (it's a stretch, but it's the same principle).
- Customers Rock posts about creating a positive customer (sorry, personalized human interaction oriented) relationships, not isolated interactions.
- Neuromarketing posts about the sales power of a smile.
This trend is fantastic. As the web is becoming increasingly delivered and semantic, targeting has to be about the customer as a person. We need to be living in this person's lifestream, in places we (as marketers) are welcome without becoming close talkers or intruding on people's lives.
Customers are people. People are customers. Let's stop looking at "buying behavior" and start looking at "people behavior". Social media and web 2.0 have taught us that nothing lives in a vacuum. So let's get out on the street and start empowering our brands to live together with "customers" as part of their lives, not part of their purchase behavior.
PS - if I missed your relevant post in the roundup above, please leave a comment and I'll include it in the post.