Brian Solis Answered My Question

Cover of "Engage: The Complete Guide for ...

Cover via Amazon

As part of an incentive to sign up early for this year’s Pivot Conference, the organizers offered a chance for pre-registrants to ask a question for Brian Solis, the author of “Engage!” to answer.

Naturally, because I love hearing from smart people, I pre-registered and asked a question.

So why am I writing a blog about this?

Because it was a really good answer.

As many of you know, I am quite critical when it comes to the “thought leaders” that be in our society.

They say the same crap. In the same venue. To the same crowd.

It’s insulting, and boring.

So instead of whining about the same-old answers I hear, I really want to highlight the great answers. Below is the question I asked him (in bold), followed by his answer in italics.

With ‘Choice’, comes large amounts of pressure for brands to form a connection with its customers, in order to “rise above the clutter.” When forming the relationship, what is one key element the brand should remember?

Not to sound overly complicated, but because social media is inherently social, people are in control of their own online experiences. Thus, everything must be reverse engineered starting with two things: the people you are trying to reach, and what it is they value. Choice is the key word as you said, you have it, I have it, and in many ways, we are the people we are trying to reach. I recommend ‘a less is more’ approach rooted in user-defined intelligence before engagement. What people want and how you connect the gap between that want and our value proposition is yours to define.

Now you may ask me why I thought that was a really good answer. Let’s pick it apart.

First, he didn’t try to throw in a bunch of jargon, faux-scientific words or made up phrases.

Second, he mentioned the act of ‘reverse engineering’, meaning that you are starting with the end in mind. Targeting what people value means that you are focusing on incentive. As a communicator in the social realm, you have to figure out why these consumer should connect with you rather than someone else, or not connect at all.

He did mention ‘less is more approach’, which is a little played out, but I’ll let it slide. Every marketing guy throws at least one out-played phrase.

Third, he said the phrase “user-defined intelligence before engagement“. That phrase, Brian, won me over. What does that phrase mean?

Research, research, research…strategy, then implementation (engagement).

All we hear these days is “it’s all about engagement”, or “joining the conversation“, and “being relevant”.

But all of that doesn’t mean crap if you don’t know your audience or the conversations already being had.

Thank you Brian, for re-newing my faith in marketing “stars”.

Brian will be at the Pivot Conference, October 17-18, in NYC. If you got a few hundred dollars laying around, I’d suggest you go.

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