Seven is a prime number and the sum of the first four Fibonacci numbers.
There are seven colors of the rainbow, seven days in the week, seven continents, and seven directions: north, south, east, west, up, down, center.
The seven new wonders of the world voted online in what was said to be the largest poll ever included the Colosseum in Rome.
Thanks to social technologies, we are now using collective filtering tools and visualizations with teams and networks to discover patterns in large, complex systems faster -- and trigger faster collective responses.
Twitter is just one example of how that works. There are plenty of other ways -- online and off line.
Having spent the better part of the last twelve+ years online, I have observed how content and discussions gravitate around seven distinct, yet related patterns:
1. Real depends on the point of view
I connect better with the Italian Wine Guy, for cultural reasons.
Do you know what's real for your customers? What's their point of view?
2. Right depends on context
We are not ready to be sold to until we're ready to buy. What's right then depends on timing and frame of mind.
This is one of the top reasons we we started talking about customer journeys in marketing -- the funnel is alive and well behind the scenes.
Relationships between people and the tasks they are looking to accomplish are quite important and call for a different approach. While the world is not waiting for your message, delivering it appropriately goes a long way.
Other paths to consider: inspiration, education, curiosity, appreciation, simplicity.
3. Respect is earned
Why would anyone pay attention to you when you are not paying attention to them?
Influencer outreach continues to go strong as a part in marketing programs, yet most of the outreach is limp, bland, unremarkable, and sometimes downright inappropriate.
Attention is currency, and respect is earned every day. People have long memories -- your actions will follow you long after the campaign need is gone.
4. Truth depends on personal values
When we become better listeners, we learn to appreciate the truths of our customers and communities. Our work is to help people make the connection between what they say and what they do by aligning our own actions in that direction.
Having values and beliefs of our own is important as long as we walk the talk and keep our promises.
5. Patience is a virtue
Especially if you're going to do things your way.
Staying on purpose is more important than staying on message. People respond well to the former, not so readily on your time frame to the latter.
To simplify further, making the purpose and the message one and the same helps with keeping an eye on how you're doing over the long haul.
6. Failure is not terminal
Fear might however feel like forever waiting at a terminal without even trying.
What is the worst that could happen? Not much happens even with big launches of marketing programs.
Plenty of room to try something different.
7. Criticism is a lot easier than craftsmanship
Sweet irony; we are terrible at taking our own advice.
Craftsmanship takes time. Using a simple rule of thumb: constructive words work better.
We are all in marketing these days: How do we rise above the fray to lead instead of following?
How do we show respect to customers (and each other -- we are all different and bring something valuable to the table)?
How do we make a better product? Not just sell one.
[image courtesy of Darwin Bell]
[edited from archives]
Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effects on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.