THE BLOG
03/05/2014 12:14 pm ET | Updated May 05, 2014

UnMarketing : Behind the Brand With Scott Stratten

Author Scott Stratten is probably best known by his twitter name @UnMarketing and his focus on helping brands create real relationships with their customers.

Stratten underscores the importance of every layer in a company. For example, the lowest paid cashier is also the person who interacts with the customer the most, so why are they often disrespected and given the least amount of attention?

The term UnMarketing (and Stratten's book) is really about taking a hard look at traditional marketing tactics that aren't working (cold calling and direct mail come to my mind) and rethinking the way we do business.

Scott asks:

Ten years ago if we would have had a (legal) way to listen in on conversations our customers and potential customers were having about us, our competitors and other interests, we would have probably invested big dollars. This technology via Twitter is now free, yet many people, mainly marketers, are ruining social media by simply pushing out messages like ads. Brands that are guilty of this style of marketing are missing key opportunities to connect one-on-one with their customers. Missing out on finding out what people are thinking and what they want and need.

When I worked at a big Hollywood studio in brand marketing we used to spend a ton of money on traditional focus groups. Today, most of this same kind of research can be done via online communities and social platforms -- for free.

Possibly one of the most underutilized tactics via social is customer service. Zappos and a few others have gained a good reputation for being good listeners -- and empowering their people to use Twitter and other social tools. But the majority of brands big and small have a long way to go until they fully capitalize on the chance to really connect with people on a personal level. One of the highlights of my this episode of Behind the Brand is when Scott said: "If you believe business is built on relationships, then you should make building them your business.

Watch this episode of Behind the Brand and let me know what you think in the comments below or Tweet me @BryanElliott.