I’m a huge fan of Hugh MacLeod’s work on Gapingvoid.com because he simply gets so many things right.
His advertising background shaped a lot of his views of what not-to-do in the marketing arena, and my own experience in that industry did the same for me. His drawing about the way advertising speaks to people will forever be one of my favorite cartoons, and I’ll continue to infringe on his copyright forever (or until he sues me) by sharing it (with creator credit) with pretty much anybody I ever speak to about marketing and advertising.
But I think he got it wrong in today’s GapingVoid Art newsletter, where his cartoons carries the quote “You don’t sell to individuals. You sell to Networks.” Ironically, when he retypes the statement in the text area of the issue, he reverses the statement to read as “You don’t sell to networks. You sell to individuals.” and almost gets it right.
What it should have said is:
You don’t sell to Networks.
You sell to Individuals.
Networks sell YOU.
The best and truest sale is one made to an individual’s unique need.
Now, that need may be common among many individuals within a network, but no individual wants to be lumped into a generic group by demographic or singular interest by sales-robots who assume that just because one person in the group bought their product, everybody else in the group should (or would want to) buy that same product too.
If you provided that individual with an excellent experience, and your product over-delivers on the promises made by the brand, then maybe that individual will tell their network about the product and their experience, and then the network will begin to buy from you (not ‘you-sell-them’), and then the network sells YOU.