Marketing Love Story: Web 2.0 sellers and buyers versus men and women in the real world

July 14th, 2009 | by Klaus Holzapfel |
Laughing couple.
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Marketing Love Story: Sellers and buyers on the social web = men and women in the real world
We have been using an analogy in many client meetings in order to illustrate how “the conversation” has changed. Some of our clients are not too social media savvy (yet) but their faces show that they get our point.

The analogy: Men always want the same – sellers as well…
No matter if sellers vs. buyers or men vs. women: One often wants something very different at the beginning of a relationship than the other. That is a pity because many times both parties have the same long-term goals.

Even though it is a cliché’ it is widely accepted that men are very quick to think about sex (not us of course ;-). Women rather want to take their time to get to know a man better, have some fun (outside the bedroom) and take things a little slower. Some of us might have seen different ;-).

Sellers and buyers face a similar situation: Just replace sex with sales or consumption. Customers much rather would like to take their time, try things out, learn more and so on. Of course there are many exceptions from this rule.

Do’s and don’ts when flirting or marketing at web 2.0
If a man meets a woman for the very first time and only talks about himself he will eventually bore his date and she might just walk away. The conversation will become rather dull if the entire show is only about him.

Now imagine a man that talks less about himself but more about common interests. He gets the woman to smile, asks about how she is doing and actively involves her into the conversation. Isn’t the chance much higher now that there will be a follow up? The guy still hasn’t gotten his date to where he wants here to be but he took a step in the right direction.

Many sellers make similar mistakes. They talk too much about themselves and therefore miss out on interacting with the other party. This might not have shown as too big of a problem in the old days but in our modern communication environment it is a fatal error.

Emancipation for women equals web 2.0 for buyers
We rather talk about empowerment instead of emancipation. Women are more self aware and powerful than ever before – customers as well. Men in modern societies had to learn that the “rules of engagement” have changed once and forever. In our days men and women often meet each other eye to eye.

The social web mirrors these developments to some extend. Customers often initiate the conversation, feel more empowered and have no issues with sharing their true feelings.

Many men and service or product providers have not developed a full awareness of these game changing factors yet. Eventually they’ll have to realize that the clock can’t be reversed.

Bottom line: Think twice before you decide how much control and power you have in any given business situation
We believe that true equal partnership is the key to success. Sellers that perceive their buyers as partners, identify common areas of interest, practice active listening and show through their actions that they value their customers will succeed in the market.

This needs to happen in an authentic manner and not just as another short-term sales strategy. Cheaters will get busted sooner or later. A sale can’t be enforced and should not be the first step in the conversation.

This approach requires time, effort and patience but the long-term results will easily beat a strategy solely focusing on immediate sales.

Which side are you on? Long-term relationship or one-night stand? We live in a free world and you get to choose.

Final notes:
Of course this is a very simplified analogy that leaves out many factors. It is neither complete nor does it apply universally.

Please feel free to disagree or argue with it. Feel free to use it for your own purposes as well.

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  1. 5 Responses to “Marketing Love Story: Web 2.0 sellers and buyers versus men and women in the real world”

  2. By Jana on Jul 14, 2009 | Reply

    Funny… But true… Really loved that analogy… Will tell the same story next time when a man tries to date me too aggressivly… Ähm… I mean… Vendor wants to sell me something;) Or when I‘m trying something to sale… Don‘t know… Just fits into a lot of situations;)

  3. By Klaus_Holzapfel on Jul 14, 2009 | Reply

    You are funny. I can see you on both sides of the fence :-)

  4. By Sascha on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    Realy Funny.

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