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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  • 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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