Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lean-too marketing: Interesting products + interested people

There are some companies that impress me. Some ways of doing business that any company can do, but most don't.

We're familiar that there's a raging battle for attention going on (or as I prefer to think of it, a battle for intention).In short, there's so much stuff to choose from we, as a default, lean away from it all.

Occasionally, very occasionally, something comes along which is interesting enough for us to lean towards. We shuffle forward on our seats and peer a little closer.

Ooooh! That looks interesting...

And then we make the effort to find out more.VodPod was one such for me. Qik is my current squeeze.

In both cases my attention (hard enough to grab) turned to intention (I'm going to stop peering at it and start acting) through one simple thing. The company leaned forward, too, towards me. Lean-too marketing.

In the case of vodpod it happened like this.Qik is now getting the big up for similar reasons!

I mentioned a hold-up in the sign-up process in a tweet on twitter. I didn't complain to the company. In fact, I'd have probably given it up as a bad job... if it wasn't for the fact that Qik is listening.

More importantly, the human beings who make up Qik are listening.

This is the bit all companies are capable of. Anyone can search summize, for example and see what people are saying about them on twitter (with other conversations to be added soon, according to their site).

But listening isn't enough. As this encounter with a Toyota youth marketer amply illustrates. Be sure to read the comments!

No, the clever (read blindingly obvious) bit is to actually respond to the act of listening - that is to take part in the conversation. To make like a social critter.

Small, very human, interactions make all the difference. Mark Earls at Herd understands this. David Armano at Logic + Emotion is working towards it (see his post describing how one act of kindness by a Disney employee earned that company $100,000).

Jackie Danicki gets this, too. It's why, in her role as Director of Marketing at Qik, she's not only monitoring what people are saying about Qik, she's reacting to it and responding to it.

She saw I was having problems and took the time and trouble to track down my gmail address (available on this blog and other places, but certainly not in that tweet!)

She got an sms sent out to me with the relevant link.

Would you or your company do as much? Are your employees empowered to make judgements for themselves on the right thing to do? The kind of small, human, right-things-to-do that earned Disney $100,000?

Here's the killer: The Qik download didn't work (I've been pointed at another member of the team to try to work out why - they haven't given up on me yet, so I'm not giving up on them!).

So what am I raving about Qik for? It can't be for the quality of the product - because I haven't actually experienced it yet.

It's for the quality of the people.

I therefore, personally blind to the product itself (though I have heard good things from people I trust), commend to you, Qik.

Tell your friends...

Image by Stephen Poff


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?