Earn the Right to Whisper

Last week I had the chance to go to the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast, a one-day conference with 85,000 people tuning in live from sites around the continent. The day was filled with great speakers, one of whom was Seth Godin. In speaking about marketing, Seth made the following statement that resonated with me:

“Don’t yell; Earn the right to whisper.”

Technology today gives companies more opportunity than ever to get in your face with their messages. With more and more companies yelling through web ads and social media, not to mention traditional mediums, most people have reached overload with the amount of messages they can hope to process. If you’re involved in advertising, one of the most common requests you might hear is, “Make it pop.” But is yelling louder really more effective in getting the messages across?

On the flip side, the internet and social media also invite a new way to do marketing, one that involves starting a conversation with people that want to talk to you, earning permission to speak and share with your tribe. Godin himself, a generous writer who gives many of his best ideas away, has set a great example.

Starting conversations and earning permission isn’t easier or quicker, but I would think that it’s a better strategy in the long-run, both in marketing and in life.

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