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@Rachel - the biggest technology humans add is the ability to interpret information. What you search for is often not a direct match of what you ask - it's one of the possible outcomes. The human brain is exceptional at figuring those connections out by going for the match vs. the computer system that uses the process of elimination. Good luck with your job search and let us know if we can help.

@Mike - thank you for stopping by.

@Barry - Florida and Pink go together (couldn't help but make the connection with the pink flamingos in Florida :) Good connection between empathy and contextual marketing, thank you. In your point 3 I would add help them do something with each other. Definitely ideas worth exploring and testing!

Hey Valeria,

hope it's not too far off topic for you, but this post also got me thinking about Richard Florida and Dan Pink's thoughts on what skills WON'T be outsourced in the future.

Recommendations, UX Design, and contextual marketing require a soft touch, sincerity, and even empathy.

This also makes me think about the decline of the newspaper industry and the debate raging over the value of editorial expertise.
The broader question seems to be whether access to more information is better than filtered access.

Anyway, to get back to where I think you intended to go with this, sounds like old fashioned brand strategy–making a genuine effort to build relationships where your customers are.

The only differences are that Social Media platforms are helping (good and bad) conversations happen faster, and the access to and ease of publishing is giving us access to insightful expertise (like dpreview.com) from other than marketing sources.

Transparency and dis-intermediation are upon us. Ask a travel agent. Ask a (savvy or singed) politician.

And, finally, the answer.
1. Make sure your product doesn't suck. If it does, you may want to start over because it's a tougher slog to market something people don't prize. And there are always bigger companies doing it–it's their specialty–especially in this economy.

2. Focus on a value niche–who could genuinely benefit from your offering?

3. Don't Tell them about it, do something for them that makes the case. (Eg: Fiesta Farms is an independent Grocer in Toronto w/a heavy ethnic and local agenda. We're working on their website. They've never told people about their focus, they spend all their resources trying to be better at it. Search them in your social media dashboard to hear what fans say–yes, an independent grocer has fans). Ideally in a way that makes them want to talk about it, even better if it makes the media want to talk about it.

4. Make the effort to serve them usefully the focus of your ongoing marketing strategy.

That's what we're trying to do. It's also what we sell to our clients. They range from big dogs like Bell Canada and Sympatico to local heroes like Fiesta and the Gladstone, and we all seem to be doing well by it.

Hope the ideas were helpful to someone

B

Valeria,

Great article, I enjoyed it. Thanks for the mention.

Mike

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