Opinions

The State of Human Interaction in Marketing

Posted by Grant Johnson on February 5th, 2014 at 1:15 pm

A funny thing is happening with the proliferation of social media, it is making way too many people LESS social. Walk down almost any high school hallway and you will see. The kids’ text each other rather than converse. Or they Snap Chat, Tweet or use Instagram.

In business circles we seem to prefer email to voice messages and rarely seem to talk to each other, conducting a lot of business electronically via chat, email, webinars and/or, sometimes, conference calls. What about meeting face-to-face?

This may further divide the role of sales and marketing. It’s curious why so many firms still put the two together in one job title. From my experience, they are two different types of thinkers. Most great sales people are not great marketers and most great marketers are not stellar sales people.

It is true that marketing needs to sell today, and input is crucial from both parties. However, when it comes down to it, especially in bigger, considered purchases like in the B2B space, a great sales person can make all the difference in closing the deal.

But it is not limited to B2B. A great retail sales person can turn you into a loyal customer faster than most marketing that’s done. Why?

Because they get to know you, what you like, want need and expect. They interact with you at a level that is hard to recreate other than in person. The same should be the case for great marketing. But, if we continue to communicate less and less face-to-face, my fear is that both sales and marketing will suffer. I know that the best meetings that my firm has is always, to this day, in person.

Communication in any relationship is the key to its success. With that said, how do we get the newer generation to communicate better in person; how do we assure that those of us who do like to communicate by meetings are not shut out and those that are good at it become the exception rather than the norm?

Without abandoning newer technology how do we find a balance?

Yes, marketing and sales have almost always been at odds, but the divide does not have to widen. In fact, it would be great if it would shrink.

Any feedback on this topic, case studies or tests that you are doing would be beneficial to the readers of this blog.

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