I’m not in the habit of doing promos, but I’ve got to single out the folks at the Strawberryfrog agency – which my advertising pals tell me is both very cool and very hot. But that’s not why I mention them. A couple of weeks ago I read an ad by Strawberryfrog in Fortune that really hit my proverbial sweet spot. It’s perhaps the best description of why most marketing does not work, and how it needs to change. It lays bare the dubious and outdated logic of traditional marketing and provides an excellent, simple roadmap for how to build relationships with customers. I can’t seem to find the copy on their website, so I’ll repeat the text below:

WE’RE STRAWBERRYFROG AND YOU’RE DYING TO HEAR FROM US. That’s the kind of assumption most marketing makes. An assumption that, while engrossed in business, or sports, or the latest Hollywood meltdown, you don’t mind being interrupted, to hear superlative copy about some product or service you weren’t even thinking about a split second earlier. It’s like some random stranger walking up to you and your friends at a party and shouting, “Hey, let me tell you about my awesome new car!” What would you think of that guy?

But there you are. A brand. And you need to communicate with people. People you don’t know. People who haven’t invited you to the party. What to do?

Act like the uninvited guest you are. Earn your keep. Don’t interrupt. Participate. Don’t talk about yourself. Talk about them. Enrich the conversation. Add to the culture. Offer something tangible. Give people a reason to hang with you, get to know you, want to hear what you have to say. And the next time there’ s a party, if you’re really all that interesting, there’s a good chance you’ll be on the guest list.

Print out this copy, stick it on your wall and refer to it whenever you’re tempted to turn on the old marketing noise machine. These red-hued frog guys get it.

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