Not long ago, the most powerful word in marketing was the word FREE.
That ended with the creation of spam filters.
Today, the most powerful word in marketing is THANKS.
In his book, The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk explains how the internet has created a shift in the way businesses are expected to behave — one which evokes an earlier age when customer and seller knew each other by name. In this new era, the word thanks can no longer be merely a clichéd coda to a business transaction. Gratitude for the customer is now the necessary mortar for cementing relationships in which buyer and seller are bound by mutual trust, respect and thanks.
Of course, the word thanks is not merely a powerful marketing word. Scientists are discovering that living with a sense of gratitude is connected to a wide array of physical and emotional benefits.
Tomorrow, those of us who live in the United States will celebrate a holiday that is focused on an even higher role of gratitude as we commemorate the prayerful thanksgiving of the country’s first European settlers.
In her new book, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, Anne Lamott writes about this form of thanks: “Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides…When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and in the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back.”
Happy Thanksgiving. And, thanks.
In May, when Apple introduced the current-generation iPad, they used this statement to open the presentation: “We believe technology is at its very best when it’s invisible. When you’re conscious only of what you’re doing, not the device you’re doing it with.”
Think about that. The company that is responsible for some of history’s most revolutionary consumer technology is saying the goal of their innovative products is to be invisible.
Marketers (and we confess, we’re guilty) too often focus our efforts on telling the world how great our products and services are. We do all we can to look and sound awesome.
But the goal of great marketing should be to make the customer smarter, stronger, happier, or whatever the customer wants when they purchase a product or join an association or sign up for a service.
When you emphasize how your product can help customers achieve something, they don’t think of it as marketing. They think of it as help. And that’s when marketing is at its very best.