3 Characteristics of the New Marketing

Every morning while getting dressed I have The Today Show playing in the bathroom. I enjoy catching up on the news and getting the forecast for the day’s weather.

The Southern Chefs

At least until the commercials come on.

It’s not that I am opposed to advertising per se. I’m not. I understand that television producers have to monetize their content.

What I object to is the fact that these commercials—especially the ones from car dealers—are several decibels louder than the program itself. Evidently, the pitch man thinks he can bludgeon me into submission by yelling at me.

This is the old marketing.

More than a decade ago, Seth Godin described this as Interruption Marketing—impersonal, irrelevant, and unanticipated. (If you haven’t read his book, Permission Marketing, do so.)

Thankfully, this kind of marketing is almost dead.

The new marketing is based on building relationships. If you dislike marketing—particularly the thought of marketing yourself—this is good news.

Yesterday, I experienced this first-hand when I took Gail out for brunch at The Southern, a hip new restaurant in downtown Nashville. We had celebrated Mother’s Day with our girls and their families the day before, so it was just the two of us.

In addition to a fabulous dining experience, I enjoyed watching the employees connect with their customers. Here’s what I observed:

  1. The new marketing starts with authenticity. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were welcomed by Tom Morales, the owner. Though my daughter, Marissa, works at the restaurant, we had never met him. For all he knew, we were just new customers.

    Tom greeted us warmly, wishing Gail a happy Mother’s Day. He seemed genuinely delighted to see us. He then engaged us in a conversation, asking us several questions about ourselves.

  2. The new marketing is fueled by generosity. As we were looking over the menu, the server brought us free BBQ Shrimp and Oyster Southern appetizers. This was totally unexpected—and wonderfully delicious.

    In today’s environment, the way to create wow experiences is to define your customers’ expectations then exceed them. This is exactly what our server did. As it turns out, “It is more blessed to give that to receive” is a brilliant marketing strategy.

  3. The new marketing incorporates story-telling. I ordered “The Cuban,” which the menu described as “pork tenderloin, mojo marinated overnight then pan fried, black beans, yellow rice, skillet debris, and topped with two fried eggs.”

    After the server brought our food, Tom wandered over to our table and told me a story. He explained how his grandmother, a refuge from Haiti, had invented The Cuban, wanting to find a way to use her pork tenderloin leftovers. This story made the dish all the more meaningful and memorable.

This simple experience turned us into unpaid evangelists for The Southern. Our first impulse was to share the experience with our family and friends.

The bottom line is that you can’t succeed in today’s environment without generating word-of-mouth publicity. Turning up the volume won’t help. Trying to outshout your competition won’t either.

Instead, you must build authentic relationships with your prospects and customers. This is the new marketing and anyone can do it.

Question: How can you better use authenticity, generosity, and story-telling to market your product or service? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • sethgodin

    “Skillet debris” is one of the most fabulous menu descriptors of all time.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I know. It cracked me up. Mothers Restaurant in Buena Vista, Colorado has a breakfast selection called, “Garbage Plate” that is also fabulous. Thanks for commenting.

      • coachbyron

        It’s one of those phrases that at first catches you off guard but then projects an image in your mind that enhances the over all experience.  Almost like you are being aloud to peek behind the velvet curtain.  There is a restaurant right out side of Palms Springs called Dat island.  Every dish is named after one of the owners siblings nickname.  Each dish now, not only has a story but a personality.  It’s a fun place.  Everything observation you made is so true!

    • Jaime Reed

      Yes, it is! That phrase alone made me want to go there.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       It does catch the attention and raises a question. “What the heck is skillet debris?”

      The description also makes eating the Cuban seem more exotic and less safe, a true culinary adventure.

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    The amazing thing is that this is something any of us can do all of the time. We don’t need a big marketing budget. We don’t have to have access. We just have to be authentic, generous, and tell amazing stories. On the downside, you can’t fake these attributes either. Then again, maybe that’s not a downside for your audience.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Jeremy, I love your comment, because you are so right. Almost everything Tom did was “free.” It took his time, but didn’t cost him anything to engage, tell stories and be polite. While the appetizer was a loss leader, it left the WOW factor, which will bring folks back, and hopefully pay off in the end.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      You’re right. Genuine kindness and otherness cannot be faked. It comes from an internal place of character and selflessness. The marketing benefits are secondary to the person’s esteem of others and desire to add value.

    • http://twitter.com/mcclureonline Michael McClure

      I agree you cannot fake authenticity. At The Southern ‘what they do’ is tied to ‘who they are’ so it comes across as being natural, comfortable, and honest – as authenticity is. By contrast I also took my wife out for lunch yesterday to a restaurant we had been to many times and something about the service had changed. We were ‘over-served’ and it had an inauthentic feel to it. We were repeatedly asked by no fewer than 5 servers if our meal was okay. At first it felt odd and we talked about it. Eventually it became comical and we laughed. But then it shifted to annoyance and it wasn’t funny anymore. The servers were not asking because they cared but because someone told them to ask. The were not communicating with each other so the whole thing shifted back to interruption marketing and we ended up displeased. It was a case of trying too hard and crossing the line.

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        Michael — You’ve put into words why I only tip at certain places if they PROMISE they won’t give their half-hearted “tip-tip, hooray” until I’m safely in my car and driving out of the parking lot. I don’t want to be the reason for, or audience to, fake caring!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        This is a subtle but important distinction. This kind of thing happens when people lose the empathy of being a customer. The question, “How would I like to be treated?” is critical.

  • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

    One of the ways I try to do this as I speak and minister to women is to ask them about prayer needs in their life….and then be faithful to pray for them AND follow up with them on that specific need. It is amazing how this works to build relationship. Thanks for a great post and a great restaurant recommendation for the next time I am in Nashville.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Stepping into someone’s story by praying for them is the height of generosity. 

  • http://twitter.com/charlesstone Charles Stone

    What I’ve noticed is that organizations sometimes think they can rely on their past success doing it the old way, rather than the new way you describe. 

  • mikefreestone

    You can’t “market” authenticity….you can only show it by the care and concern you provide to you clients and customers. Genuiness is so important

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      So true. You can’t fake it.

  • http://www.enmast.com/ Brad Farris


    I love the three words you are using to describe “new marketing” — Authenticity, generosity and story telling. The interesting thing is that this process requires marketers to have new skills. It’s not about telling a story about a fictional “Bartles & Jaymes” instead we need to tell stories about ourselves using a lot of tightly edited writing, some video and finding ways to give value to our prospects and our partners. 

    I’m having fun working with some young people who grew up in the “new marketing” era, for whom interruption marketing feels yucky. It’s still hard work, but it’s a lot more fun!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ultimately, I think it is also more powerful and long-lasting.

      • http://www.enmast.com/ Brad Farris

        In the sense that it is the kind of content that we welcome instead of fight against it’s certainly more powerful.

        We’ve been talking a lot about teaching as selling and that content is certainly evergreen. People search for it forever (ex. your post on fixing your wireless problem).

    • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

      I was pretty excited to read this and realize that those three words – authenticity, generosity and story telling are really the pillars we base our marketing on for my business, thecupcaketower.com.  We answer each email we receive making sure that we personalize it for the person writing and that we are authentic in our reply.  We are overly generous – always giving more than we “need” to.  The surprising one is storytelling.  People always say that the “story” of how our business started is why they decided to buy from us.  LOVE it!  :)

      • Scheib16

        The main reason I ordered my cupcake tower for my daughter’s wedding, I felt like I was ordering from one of my girlfriends! Excellent product by the way.

  • http://oldthingsrnew.wordpress.com/ Onisha

    I read the works of independent authors, those who self publish.  For me, choosing a book is all about relationship. I buy fresh vegetables from the neighborhood market because we chat about where the produce came from and how to cook it. We have relationship.  I choose my cars online.

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    That really sounds like an incredible place to eat!

    I think the power here is that for so much of the world we encounter, the interaction is not about trust and relationship.  When you encounter something so incredibly authentic, it is a delight.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      So true. And it wins your loyalty. You want to go back, because you feel connected to the people.

  • http://twitter.com/StuMcLaren Stu McLaren

    Managing expectations is the key but I think what’s also interesting is being aware of existing expectations.

    Today it’s so easy to exceed expectations because consumers have grown to be skeptical (and rightfully so).

    For example… no restaurant would give something away for free – financially it doesn’t make sense right?

    Because so few do it means it immediately becomes a bigger opportunity to exceed expectations.

    I also love the “story telling” aspect you shared.  It’s interesting how your “feelings” about your dinner increased as a result of the story (very powerful).  My takeaway here is to make sure the story is easy to “retell”… otherwise people won’t share it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      One thought on the free part. So often businesses think transactionally rather than relationally. In other words, giving away something for free doesn’t make sense if all you do is consider one transaction. But if you consider the lifetime value of a customer, it is an investment in the future!

  • Maryacavanaugh

    I know this doesn’t really answer your question but it makes me sad that the owner’s behavior has to be called “marketing”.  Is it possible that  the owner is genuinely interested in you as a person and passionate about his business and that the increased business is just the natural fallout?

    Or maybe that’s exactly the point you are making!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is exactly the point of making. The new marketing is just being your most authentic, generous self.

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  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    Authenticity, generosity, and story-telling are what my services are about. As a women’s ministry speaker, I share my personal story. If I’m not authentic they would know it. And it’s packed with parable like story telling. The generosity part comes in because I don’t charge a fee to speak locally. Interestingly, they almost always insist on paying me anyway,and usually more than I would have charged.  

    • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

      Kelly — 

      You’ve put into words my disappointment with a speaker I heard recently. Her points were excellent and her delivery flawless. But every story she told was about someone else. I felt conflicted on the way home: why did I want to hear about her life? I’m not the nosey sort. I don’t buy the National Inquirer. I don’t watch tell-all TV shows. I think it came down to authenticity. Authenticity invites connection, and I felt kept us at arm’s length.  

  • http://scottkantner.com Scott Kantner

    I would say “by remembering to pour yourself into it.”  People need to sense your passion, and then I think authenticity often comes along for the ride.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Great book. Howard Schultz—”Pour Your Heart Into It.”

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    The trouble with this “new marketing based on building relationships” is that it becomes increasingly difficult to tell who’s being authentically authentic, as it were, and who’s a particularly slick marketeer merely pretending to be authentic—and doing a fabulous job at it—in order to butter me up and get me to buy more of whatever they’re selling. 

    You could say that if people are being nice to us, it shouldn’t really matter why they’re being so nice to us.  

    To me, however, motive matters, and I’d like to know whether and to what extent a person’s overt attitude toward me is driven by ulterior motives. 

    At least the “old marketing,” annoying as it may be, is upfront and unapologetic about what it is. There’s nothing potentially phony and sneaky about it. 

    When it comes to those “new” marketeers, however, I’m never quite sure who I’m dealing with and where exactly their overtly charming and affable airs derive from. 

    • Rachel Lance

      Good point. I tend to be really skeptical of big brands trying to engage on social networks. I guess I just don’t see how a big brand can truly connect with little old me. However, I appreciate and even expect efforts from smaller entities (bloggers, small business owners, et. al.) to connect and build relationships. I think it makes all the difference. 

    • http://www.matthewreedcoaching.com/ Matthew Reed

      fake authenticity runs out pretty quickly. That’s a hard plate to keep spinning.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

        The analogy I would employ is that of a face lift: you can only spot the bad ones. A good face life is undetectable by definition. So the fake authenticity plate only stops spinning fairly quickly when it’s being spun by an amateur as opposed to a black belt phony.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Very true CyberQuill. It’s hard to tell what’s authentic and what is not. That’s why I like to watch the interactions over a period of time. If it is consistent, I tend to believe it’s more authentic than a blip here or there. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Great point. I always think I’m better than I really am at being able to point at someone who is being genuine and someone who just wants to pitch me. But, I’m probably not as good as I think I am.

  • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

    I’m thankful for the DVR, which has made me mostly immune to commercials. Podcasts have insulated me from radio commercials. I’m not opposed to commercials either, but very few are actually relevant to me, and I don’t need to hear the same one 20 times in an hour. I was so glad when I discovered podcasting, because the talk station I was listening to when I shifted to downloading MP3’s to listen to in the car would literally play the same commercial 3 times in a row. That was annoying.

    I agree on the volume. I wish the gain on the programs you’re actually watching could be turned up, or the gain on the commercials turned down. It’s annoying, especially when you’re trying to be quite, to have to scramble to raise and lower the volume every time the program breaks for a commercial.

  • http://www.peaceforthejourney.com/ elaine @ peace for the journey

    When we begin to see others as God sees them, when love is the driving force rather than personal ambition, then we’re closer to being our authentic selves. It all comes down to the one… I believe that’s the way Jesus lived his earthly days. Yes, days of corporate, large ministry, but never too busy, too harried, too programmed, or too stuffy to reach out to one. We “ones” are what he came to do, and in terms of his marketing… well, it’s worked for the past 2000 years!

    Blessings and peace as you reach out to your “ones” today.


    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Seeing others as God sees them–as individuals to love rather than merely a means to an end–is key.  Thanks for the insight, Elaine.

    • Me

       why oh why do all americans have to start talking about god at some point…

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Sounds like a great place, Michael. We had a similar experience on Saturday. My wife and I went to a new restaurant in Carlsbad, called Miguel’s Cocina. As we walked in, the gal at the front desk indicated to our hostess to seat us in “401.’ As we walked back, the hostess mentioned how amazing 401 would be. “The perfect seat to see the whole restaurant,” she said. We weren’t disappointed. 

    As we sat down, I noticed how nice the decor was. This wasn’t your typical Mexican restaurant. Everything was a notch up. The fabrics were rich deep colors surrounded by bright accents. The staff were all dressed in bright colored shirts. It made for a very festive atmosphere.

    The menu presented a lot of traditional dishes and also some specialty items. We decided to split the fajita plate. Our waitress went the extra mile, by bringing us an extra plate and having the tortillas mixed so we had a choice of corn or flour. A few minutes later a huge plate of steaming beef and chicken fajitas arrived. It was wonderful.

    The waitress was very friendly and gave us a little history of the restaurant chain and told us the secret of how they number their tables. “401” was certainly one of the best seats in the house!

    Overall, our experience was fantastic. The fajitas were magnificent with added flavors of mushrooms and a full rainbow of bell peppers. The rice, beans and guacamole were perfect. 

    The great thing was by having lemon waters, with tax and  tip our bill was under $20.

    What a perfect Mother’s day experience, a day early!

    If you ever go, be sure to say that you want table 401.

    You won’t be disappointed!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for that story, John. Another great example.

  • Nics Cahill

    Next time in Nashville – in the USA, I want to
    Visit that restaurant. Thank you or recommending it with such a delightful
    Personal story. For me there is nothing better than to enjoy an experience & share it with others. Thank you Michael.

  • Bobhahner

    Your experience with your meal is all about differentiation, this emotional memory creates a lasting impression. Great plan

  • Steve Paulson

    These three “Characteristics of New Marketing” sound more like old fashioned entrepreneurship: A passion for what you do (fire in the belly), Constantly look at your business from the customer’s point of view, and Treat your employees right and they will treat your customers right.

    But as they say in Old Marketing, “but wait, there’s more!”  …Hire the best people you can find, slowly.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      … Hire people who share you’re passion, empathy, and heart to serve. Without a unified mission, talent just becomes a source of tension.

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        “Without a unified mission, talent just becomes a source of tension.”

        Oh my. In one sentence, you’ve explained the last six years of my life!

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          One of the many lessons I’ve had to learn the hard way!

  • Keith Branson

    “Interruption marketing” — aka screaming announcers hawking
    cars, mattresses, etc. ARE SO UNWELCOME!!! (Screaming in a loud type)  Thank you for sharing its name.  What I have heard people call it is
    unprintable!  My new business, Together,
    is a conflict prevention, resolution and reconciliation company (see keithbranson.com).
    After reading your blog I compared your comments to my plan.  I do have a “building relationships”
    marketing plan and it contains the three aspects you mentioned. The authenticity
    and generosity come easy from the core values of who are as company owners. The
    storytelling is a vital part of our service by modeling transparency and trust.
    Like the owner of South, we know that knowing your customer and being known by
    them, at a more personal level, leads to relationship connections not only with
    them, but those they tell about you.  How
    we do it is by being authentic; no pretense, rather humility in presenting
    ourselves. We are generous in giving a free service to the owner, manager,
    decision-makers of companies or families. 
    Storytelling in sharing what managing conflict has done for us and
    others.  And last but, most important,
    listening to their stories for clarity in how we can be of help to them.

    • Keith Branson

      Michael, I apologize for the atrocious looking post above. The only possible redeeming value is that it stands out from the crowd. For all your readers, don’t try to respond to a blog while riding your motorcycle to work. (just kidding). Actually I quickly wrote a poorly proof-read note on a Word document and pasted it into the comments section. I was surprised to see the line breaks appear. Obviously not a good method.

  • toships

    I agree it starts with generosity. It is the fundamental of any business at least at the nascent stage.

  • http://www.thereligionteacher.com/ Jared Dees

    I know where I’ll be taking my wife next time we come back to Nashville! 

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Same here.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       me too.

  • http://www.bradhuebert.com/ Brad Huebert

    What I love about the new marketing is that it removes the slime factor. People are now rewarded for caring, for giving, for being authentic. The slickster mentality is losing traction in the market, and I love that. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree!

  • LivewithFlair

    Thank you!  I predict that business schools will mandate classes on “How to Tell a Good Story” in order to graduate!  Hey, that gives me a great idea for a new textbook for professional development at PSU :).  Great post! 

  • Brad Ball

    Great blog. I think some great thoughts that our churches need to think about. Now do you have any suggestions of how we need to do that in our churches to where they will be unpaid evangelists?

  • https://www.bloggoround.com/ Jonathan Thompson

    This post also relates a lot to evangelism.

    Somehow people think that if they yell at someone loud enough, then they will be won to Christ.

    In reality, we should use the 3 points above that you mentioned.

    When sharing our faith with someone we should:

    Be authentic.

    Be generous.

    And share a story of what Jesus has done in our life.

    If we win them to Christ, then they will go “North Of Somewhere”   :)

    • http://www.nginaotiende.blogspot.com/ Ngina Otiende

      Wow, love this Jonathan. So true. 

      “North of somewhere” is a pretty good place to spend eternity!

  • http://twitter.com/Jon_Wilburn Jon Wilburn

    Brilliantly stated Michael. While I’m still working towards putting a site together, it was a great reminder not to “shout louder” than others but to authentically care and just be myself.   Best marketing plan ever.

  • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

    Completely agree that new media must tell a story.  You find brilliant thought leaders in Simon Sinek and authors of Made to Stick emphasizing the power of story over and over again.  

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  • Chris

    So I just opened a Physical therapy clinic and things have been kind of slow early on because I am new to the area and haven’t formed a network. This was a much needed reminded for me that if I genuinely treat every single person with kindness and love, the clinic will be the busiest office in town. Thanks!

  • http://www.suttonparks.com/ Sutton Parks

    It’s great to think that there is a “new” marketing that will take over markets by storm however it is not true.  Nothing has changed in marketing.  There will always be highly successful “screamers” and “authentic” failures.  Very few brands will ever achieve the loyalty Saturn had with their cars yet they failed.  Marketing buzz words and “new and improved” marketing methods will be touted.  Those things will never change.  It all starts with the product or service.  Manure is still manure no matter how it is marketed. 

  • http://www.ninanesdoly.com/ Nina Nesdoly

    That’s such a nice story, it sounds like a lovely mother’s day experience. While I was in Cost-co yesterday, I saw the manager walking around giving a rose to each of his female staff for mother’s day. It was very endearing and nice to see. 

    In the gym I work at, more authentic sales people do incredibly well, whereas those who push sales and deals quit within 3 months. I’m in training, not in sales, but I witness what works and what doesn’t and clients often talk about their experiences. Happy clients say they were given honest information, and often mention some kind of story or fact about training that the sales rep told them. Many walked out without buying memberships, but returned the next day and said that they liked the friendly, low pressure scenario. Clients who were offered discounts, given dead lines for sales, or received a follow up call if they didn’t buy immediately usually don’t buy memberships. If they do, they become the clients who keep their heads down and don’t talk to the staff, and they’re not as receptive when they work with me. Having an authentic experience where you feel valued and respected is night and day. 

  • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

    Reminds me of Mark Sanborn’s, The Fred Factor.  If a postman can build authentic relationships and add value without even so much as a product (just bringing you what is already yours…your mail), it shows how much the rest of us have to give.  Exceed expectations, be real, add value…

    We used to challenge all new hires after learning about The Fred Factor to identify someone important in their work or personal life and do something surprising for them to make their day.  The only trick was they couldn’t spend more than $2.  

    Adding value without adding cost is the single greatest challenge and opportunity in our service-based economy!

  • http://www.kingdomembassynetwork.org/ Benson Agbortogo

    This is an excellent post. You narrated your mother’s day story and talked about key marketing principles at the same time. I like word of mouth marketing. Jesus developed a relationship with the Samaritan woman at the well and she used word of mouth marketing to bring her city to Christ – John 4:1-41. Word of mouth is a timeless effective marketing principle.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I like your example, Benson.

  • http://orgspring.org/ Craig Grella

    I read alot about new marketing, content marketing, and lots of other marketing with fancy adjectives. To be honest, I’m not sure any of it is really relevant. I think it’s just a new paint job on an old car. I think the smart marketers have been doing the three things you mention for years, incorporating authenticity, generosity, and story-telling. 

    You know them because they’re the ones who are actually succeeding in a clouded market where the ones who don’t develop relationships (ie. the ones who just interrupt) are failing miserably. I suppose the group mentioned in the latter half of that last paragraph would be well served by getting a few tips from your post! :)

  • Mark Campbell

    While I know it is not the main topic of your post, there is relief on the way for your morning TV. The FCC has a new rule going into effect Dec 13, 2012 requiring commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany. http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/loud-commercials

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thank goodness.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/ Ryan Hanley


    Is there a more powerful word Online?

    Thank you.

  • http://www.matthewreedcoaching.com/ Matthew Reed

    I am the only ‘inventory’ that I have for my potential clients, so the marketing rule for me is “Know, Like, Trust”. 
    Will any given interaction/marketing cause people to know me, like me or trust me more?

  • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

    Love the new marketing – which is really non-marketing.

    I’m hosting a webcast for one of my member groups later this week on The New Rules for Online Business. I’ll definitely mention this article and send some visitors.

    I’ve found that generosity through solid, actionable content is my best marketing method. People are willing to share freely without strings attached.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Paul. I appreciate your comments.

  • http://www.RobynHurst.com/ Robyn Hurst

    oh, how I love this post!  That is why I love the business I am in, because it is about helping people!  Get to know them…ask them about themselves, LISTEN…if you have a product that you know can help others, it doesn’t help them if you are throwing it in their face without knowing why they might need it, does it?  And honestly, don’t you just feel better at the end of the day knowing that your purpose and your actions backed each other up…that you really WERE helping people, not just grasping at signatures?  One option helps others and fills you with joy…the other may or may not help them, but it sucks life out of you…and with no life, what good are you for those that need you the next day?  What good are you for your life’s purpose?  Besides…it is just nice to be nice…cheesy, yes, but we ALL need warm fuzzies and the knowledge that someone cares…its like they say…”they don’t care what you know until they know that you care…”

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

    This is absolutely fantastic. Gives me an idea to change some stuff on my own website today. I always believed in permission marketing, this just opened my eyes to a real life example. Thanks Michael.

  • http://www.CareerCoachJeff.com/ Jeff Melvin

    I really liked the “Wow” factor of the free appetizer, customer service, etc. It came across in your post that the business owner was genuinely appreciative of you coming to his restaurant, as demonstrated byhis questions & storytelling.

    This new relationship marketing is important for businesses to grab a hold of if they want to survive & thrive in today’s economy. In times past many businesses operated with the idea it was all about them, a one & done transaction mentality. It’s not the case anymore. The “Wow” factor coupled with relationship marketing will build a lasting value for the business and the customer. Zappos did a “wow” with their return policy on shoes (as well as customer service) and created many lasting relationships.
    I’m challenged by your post to be intentional about wow-ing my customers as well as building a lasting relationship. Thanks! 

    • http://www.matthewreedcoaching.com/ Matthew Reed

      Michael Hyatt’s own freebie was something that really pulled me into his website right away. Great example

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664835986 Matt Edwards

    It’s always nice to know that you are headed in the right direction with your marketing. Thank you for confirming our marketing plan.

  • http://www.SamJolman.com/ Sam Jolman

    I love this!  Thank you.  What a tension this creates.  Its all about patience.  And we don’t like to wait for much.   I feel this struggle… but a good struggle.  

  • Jim


    Not only is the old style “in your face, pitchman yelling” out of date, it makes me go the other way.  In other words, I won’t buy from companies that use this tactic because I feel like I’ll be treated as someone that needs to be yelled at.  You nailed this topic very well.  When will people learn…. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It seems to me that there is a real opportunity here for a car dealer to break from the herd and develop a strategy based on new marketing.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    If only people and companies realized the power their story has to connect with people, I’m reading a great book right now (Platform) that gives the example of Apple who does this well.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Kimanzi, (ok, I’ll bite.)

      Sounds like a great book (wink, wink) who wrote it?

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        A new book coming out: Platform :)

  • KeithFerrin

    So true. With the ability to “unfollow” people online and the invention of the DVR, “out-shouting will NEVER work again. (And I love that!)

    It’s no mistake that all three of these characteristics are all about the relationships of the people interacting/using the product…not just the product itself.

  • http://twitter.com/RobJacobs_ Rob Jacobs

    Part of being authentic…is being authentically curious. Wanting to know something about the people and wanting to know their story instead of pushing your story or something about you. 

    Authentic Curiosity…could use a lot more of this. 

  • Marshall Walker

    I totally agree with all your points Michael, but I’m just curious.  Did Tom spend that time with you because of who you were (one of his team members dad) and is that why you got the free appetizers?  Or did everyone in the restaurant that day get the same treatment?  Will you be disappointed next time you visit the restaurant and don’t get to spend time with Tom and get a free appetizer?

    • johnmurphyinternational

      Marshall, good question but I think if Michael got the same treatment every time it then becomes impersonal and just routine. For excellent customer it is about continuously raising the bar, not keeping it at the same level.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I agree. Just for the record, Tom had no idea who I was. In fact, when I sent him a link to the post, he wrote back and said, “I had no idea who you were or what you did.”
      I also wouldn’t let the fact that you can’t provide special treatment for everyone keep you from providing special treatment for someone. I understand that they can’t do this every time, so I won’t be disappointed next time. I still feel connected to them.

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    This is a great post. As a Christian, authenticity and generosity are an advantage that I have. Story-telling though in a wedding music/corporate style though will be interesting. That I’ve never seen anyone incorporate as a wedding band. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot though. Any help would be appreciated!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Good luck Daren! That would be something to see.

  • KarlMealor

    Pondering what this means for churches.  We need to find ways to make visitors at our church have this type of experience.  Not sure that we’ll give every visitor shrimp and oysters…though that would set us apart from other churches!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I agree Karl, especially about church’s being authentic and caring.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Laughter aside, this is a great question to ask.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      As a Youth Pastor I was asking the same questions! I wonder if it’s as simple as remembering names and things about people in order to follow up and pray—from a place of genuine care and support.

      There are students that come back that are AMAZED when they come back to the underground the second time and I remember their name, school, sport/instrument etc….—but it has to be genuine.

      • KarlMealor

        I really want to create an environment where our church members are proactively forming relationships with visitors. BTW, I struggle sometimes remembering names, etc., especially when visitors are somewhat sporadic. It’s impressive that you remember those details from visit to visit.

  • http://www.davidmcohen.com/ David Cohen

    Love this post, Michael. But a reminder for biz owners and marketers – don’t just treat your high profile customers (who have influential blogs) with stories and personal touches. 

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Are you wondering, David, if the restaurant recognized Hyatt, and then treated him different hoping that he might write a post like today?

      • http://www.davidmcohen.com/ David Cohen

        Not exactly. More so the fact I know too many marketers who give VIP treatment to VIPs and fail to forget that the non-VIP types can be just as influential. 

        So, I love everything Michael is saying here, totally agree, but I’d like marketers/biz owners to stop selectively treating customers a certain way. The stay-at-home mom who only has 200 Facebook friends is as much a VIP now as influencers like Michael Hyatt, just in their own unique way.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I agree. Just for the record, Tom had no idea who I was. In fact, when I sent him a link to the post, he wrote back and said, “I had no idea who you were or what you did.”

      • http://www.davidmcohen.com/ David Cohen

        Thank you, Michael for adding that caveat. Makes the story even more awesome!

  • http://www.robsorbo.com/p/welcome-from-disqus.html Rob Sorbo

    I often think about the difference between commercials on TV and commercials like the Dollar Shave Club or Old Spice. Some commercials are ignored at all cost (DVR, mute, change channel, etc) and the others are sought out, shared with friends, and watched over and over again. I do agree with your points, but I also think the new marketing is going to try to make better use of entertainment.

  • Kim Frazier

    There’s very little “new’ in successful marketing. Company’s that succeed throughout history are those that realize “relationships” are key. Whether the relationship is with a customer or supplier the willingness to build true service into all aspects of a business gets positive attention. That in turn leads to affirmative actions by those touched by the service – your accalades for the restaurant. This is especially true within the service industry, where customer insights are primarily based on intangibles. Meaning if personal perceptions and reality converge while producing a positive experience then business success results.  

    Dynamic marketing is creating the environment where the sale can take place. The creation portion is different for each business based on their customer base and product line. In service businesses that ecosystem is almost wholy dependent on human beings that are willing, able and motivated to provide others the highest level of satisfaction based on personal interactions. Treating others how they would like to be treated is a good starting point.

    It’s unlikely if a negative business atmosphere consistently exists (on any level) that an organization will achieve positive results with customers, suppliers, employees, etc. The path of commerce is littered with companies that were unable or unwilling to build productive relationships with constituents. It’s simple – you reap what you sow.


  • http://twitter.com/eccle0412 Jackie Anderson

    I just got off the dreadmil and your description echoed a conversation I finally had with a woman at the gym. Sometimes we just need to stop and notice people. The value we add is more than an economic investment. We can inspire people to step up and step in. “Love does”.
    I thought Seth Godin’s same comment. That alone made me feel valuable. Am I in his mind tribe? wow

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I agree with noticing people. It is one of the most valuable things we can do, but it is so easy to overlook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Art-MacKay/534075654 Art MacKay

    Loud, shrill, rapid … big turnoff forever. But, now that I am more than a little deaf I can just haul out my bionics!

  • http://www.nginaotiende.blogspot.com/ Ngina Otiende

    Wow, love this Michael.

    Being our authentic and generous selves goes further than anything else. And it’s not really “work”, just being ourselves.

    Great thoughts! 

  • Daniel Decker

    What’s funny is that all goes back to the basics. Turns out the golden rule applies not only to life but also to great marketing. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be honest, do good work, be respectful, have apathy for others, and as Chris Brogan might say… just be human. : ) 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Yeah I thought of Chris and Gary Vaynerchuck (The Thank-You Economy) during this post.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Exactly Daniel!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=888490174 Elizabeth Joss

    Hi Michael, this is a fabulous post and indeed very true! I think most businesses lack authenticity in terms of their brand – I think this is also why theme restaurants are so popular. I also love the idea of marketing as being fueled by generosity. This is much needed in today’s society. 

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  • http://itinerantblogger.wordpress.com/ Reed Hanson

    This post covers one of those developments I couldn’t be more excited about (new marketing). I couldn’t write a sales pitch to save my life, but I’m always within reach of relationship-building through authenticity, generosity and story-telling. Makes it seem that much more reachable to create a genuinely engaged community if you put in the time and effort and have a plan. 

    I also now want to try The Southern if I ever get to Nashville.

  • http://www.betterhealthtoday.co Kay Wilson

    I have Set Godin’s book, “Permission Marketing”, I also think “brick & mortat” is part of our past, but feel very strongly that customer service, giving so much more than you need, to keep your customers satisfied & loyal.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Kay, I can see brick and mortar going away if they continue to try to chase the cheaper and quicker crowd. But they can survive if they change their tactics.

      Take a look at Apple Stores as an example. The stores are packed, almost to the point of being uncomfortable. Why? Because instead of offering just a product, they offer an experience.

      This is what brick and mortar stores need to do to survive. What do you think?

  • http://twitter.com/sdwriter Shannon Donnelly

    This means you have to love what you do — it’s easy to do this if you’re doing something for which you have real passion.

  • Sapphire

    First of all..I don’t recall how I came across your website but I am really glad I did. I was praying about this kind of growth, I’m enjoying your work and learning a lot. 

    Second…I loved this blog today because I see that this is exactly what you have done and honesty is a winner with me. I started off downloading the free e-book which is in the process of helping me to get things in place and have since read other articles/blogs of interest which are proving to be insightful too. 

    Oh and I think I’m going to run a half marathon, will keep you posted.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Glad that you are a part of the community. I hope that you do run that half-marathon.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you! Thanks for taking time to comment. I appreciate that.

  • carol

    My mum greeted her customers, had a genuine concern that they had enough for dinner, if they were waiting for take-away adults had a glass of tea or the kids had sweets.  She knew nothing about strategies 4 decades ago but she was authentic, full of love and illiterate. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      I think there are some people, like your mom, who have the gift of hospitality, right? No tips or strategies are needed—just authentic caring and serving. My wife is like that.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    As odd as it sounds, we’ve received a similar style of service at Red Lobster on two occasions. Attentive service, great knowledge of the food items, explanations of the food items and stories behind them, and a genuinely appreciative greeting. It’s more than enough to make someone shout the praises of the store.

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  • Stephengulley

    I lead worship for a living.  I could definitely take it up a notch in the welcoming address (30 seconds) by giving more than a name and direction for the next 20 minutes.  I could use more nonverbal cues expressing authentic enjoyment of this day, this crowd and what we are doing.  I can tell more story behind the vast array of new songs we introduce.  More than the thematic point of the song, a story behind why it was written or the circumstance it was written in.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    My dad made a living as a salesperson, retired before the Internet arrived. He excelled at his work back in the day but I never found sales an attractive position to seek. Yet, after self-pubbing my book “Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes,” I’ve learned the joy of sales. For me, it’s meeting people and sharing life together. I do talk about the book but usually in response to the questions of others.

    When I make my own reading decisions, I choose books recommended by others. For me, book sales are generated by building relationships, whether I’m buying or selling.

    Thanks for illustrating the new marketing with a great story (but now I’m hungry).

  • Dan Erickson

    I tell stories.  It’s whatI do.  I write songs and books.  My blog focuses on writing as a form of therapy and the power of forgiveness.  I agree that there is a great power in storytelling.  However, I also think that our audiences are savvy to new marketing techniques.  As soon as they realize that the stories are being told as a marketing tool they will begin to doubt our sincerity.  The stories need to be told for no other reason than honestly sharing information that will help your listeners in some way, otherwise they become a liability rather than an asset.

    I’m a mass communication professor and although I teach courses about mass media and advertising, I have learned to avoid most of the mass media, especially advertising, because it is predominantly selfish in nature.  Your example of the “loud-talking” car ads is a good example.  However, coming from the point of view of someone who is very sensitive to marketing and advertising, I would argue that pop-ups of any sort on websites are the equivalent of these car ads shouting at you.  They are annoying and create noise.  In today’s world we are surrounded by an excess of “advertising noise.”  I look for for simple clean websites with very little clutter in the ways of ads and popups.  Seth Godin’s blog is a great example.  

    I’m just a regular guy trying to get some publicity for my book about the power of forgiveness.  I was the child victim of a cult.  I would like to sell my product.  I believe stories are strong.  They cater to the emotions, but they must be sincere.  If you’d like to learn a little about my story you can see my website at http://www.danerickson.net   

  • http://www.edsoehnel.com/ Ed Soehnel

    I get what you’re saying, Michael, but TV ads still really work.  My shtick  is start-ups and small growth-oriented consumer product companies and TV continues to be a very strong promotional medium.  I’ve used direct response/infomercials with pretty good effectiveness to build brand awareness and retail sales. With DR, you track your response and if it fails to generate sales, you fix it or stop (unless you like to lose money).  When you figure out the the winning combination that includes the right creative,  offer and stations, you use it.  If that ad is annoying to some, but still drives profitable sales from others, well, you use it.    

  • http://jonathanfosteronline.com/ Jonathan Foster

    Michael, I absolutely LOVE this post. Great stuff.

    Life moves at the speed of relationship.

    Your business is dead without it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amy.fiedler Amy Fiedler

    I was blown away a couple months ago by a commercial for a local car dealership:  http://www.thekeyonline.com/our-videos.  My first thought was, “These people must be Christian.”  (I have yet to verify this.)  Their “new marketing” demonstrates a passionate care to help people in need.  It’s a ministry.  It’s not just about selling cars, providing loans, or even offering financial counseling.  It’s about being there for your customers–people who are people like you and me and deserve to be treated like people regardless of their superficial shortcomings.  As Mary Kay Ash said, treat everyone like they have a sign around their neck that says, “Make me feel important.”

  • Ginny Proctor

    Michael, your article brings to mind the reason I continue to utilize evaluation sheets at the end of every conference I hold. The attendees are usually surprised when I tell them I actually do read every one of them and I often apply their suggestions to the next conference. If a person signs the evaluation form, although optional, I make it a point to track that person down at the next conference to thank them for their suggestions. I just believe this is good customer service and it really does make people feel appreciated. Let’s face it, without satisfied customers, we have no business being in business.

  • http://dmbaldwin.wordpress.com/ Dave Baldwin

    What a great post Michael. Without realizing it our coffee roasting company employs the “new marketing” way of getting our message out and taking care of our customers. I’m an educator at heart so I always have a story about where the coffee comes from & how we roast it. We have a pot of coffee on that we continually offer people a cup of our latest roast. It’s free too! We are new enough at this whole roasting thing that we have to be authentic letting people know that we don’t always know what we’re doing and their feedback is always welcomed. We tend to sell a lot of coffee in the process.
    Have a great weekend,

  • Jo S.

    “The bottom line is that you can’t succeed in today’s environment
    without generating word-of-mouth publicity (…)

    Instead, you must build authentic relationships with your prospects
    and customers. ”

    But most of authentic relationships are created on the Internet these days.  This is also a place where the New Marketing should be present.  Creating very simple websites with pictures and descriptions on servers like yeeti.com might be very, very helpful. Like posting photos of the best dishes or the most satisfied customers. Does it make sense?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, this book is full of content about marketing on the Internet, through social media, etc.

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  • http://www.livebeyondawesome.com/ Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

    Say I had the chance to market 4,000 spanish speaking “how to get a job” books from a very famous, intelligent, and wise author who is a mega star who is offering these books at a deeply discounted rate to the person with the best business plan. 

    What creative ways could I find to be able to write up a business plan in 4 days to be able to sell these. I like your suggestions of authenticity, generosity, and storytelling. I believe “my story” of how I used this book during a time of need to find me several jobs during a downturned economy when I lost my totally secure job I loved would let others see how taking intentional and bold action can lead to incredible job opportunities.

    Going off your three points above, I am hoping for your advice, input, or just a “no comment Jen” note back. 
    1. Offer to buy the books out of my own pocket and offer giveaways at spanish speaking communities where I would rent a place to speak and speak for free. This would help me build my speaking career , perhaps build media attention and go good for others. 
    2. Reach out to hispanic community organizations, hispanic schools, etc. and try to arrange a business type deal for the books. This seems like there would be a bigger “distrust” factor as they don’t know me. I could offer to speak for FREE with purchase of so many books.
    3. Try to get through to well off citizens, famous people, etc. to see if they wanted to participate in a excited and FUN holiday program where they sponsor the give away around Christmas time to Hispanic communities with a high unemployment rate? Problem again is around mistrust.
    Any other ideas or suggestions?
    Live Beyond Awesome.
    Twitter: @TheIronJen:disqus 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Do you speak Spanish, Jen? Do you currently have contacts within the Spanish community? Unless you are fluent and have a significant network, I don’t think it is viable. This would be a tough assignment even if you did. Being a bookseller today is difficult. It is even more difficult if your target market is unemployed and separated by a language and cultural barrier. Thanks.

      • http://www.livebeyondawesome.com/ Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

        No, I don’t speak spanish, however, my kids go to a spanish immersion school (was thinking if something was done, they would DEFINITELY be a part of it – good learning opportunity for all of us). I called the school’s leadership and got the name of a community organization that is very active, however, not sure that they would have need for this many books. Still I left a message for the president. 

        Michael, THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSE BACK!!! I APPRECIATE YOUR TIME AND HONESTY!!!!  This enticing  short notice challenge has been a hoot to try to figure out – it is almost like trying to put together a 3D puzzle  – good for the brain to be stimulated.
        THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

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