The biggest buzz in the advertising and marketing world this year is the invasion of social media, and how quickly social media has taken a dominant stance in the advertising world. We have seen some successful marketing campaigns centered on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, which have generated huge ROIs. I have engaged in many conversations about social media, and have been told, repeatedly, that in the B2B marketing world, we simply can’t ride on the success of the social media as it is in the consumer world. Why is that?
“Because in this business, everyone knows everyone!” Many industries are operating in a small circle with very unique characteristics. In the particular industry that we are in, it is run by the old boys, who swear, smoke, drink and crack wise jokes. At least that is what I’ve heard. The images that pop into my head are the wise guys in “Goodfellas” and “Donnie Brasco”. How do I do business with these wise guys? The way Donnie Brasco did it, to become a wise guy myself.
In the past few decades, the way people do business with wise guys is through their sales force. They march to where the wise guys hangout and make a statement, so formal, so systematically trained, so bureaucratic, just like an army. Do you know what the wise guys are feeling about the army? “Army is about someone you don’t know sends you to whack someone you don’t know. It is not how wise guys do business, wise guys just hangout and have fun!” So, if you want to do business, you better become a wise guy. How exactly did Donnie do it? Socializing! Laughing at their jokes and listening to what they wanted and giving it to them.
With the advent of social media, it is never been easier to know who these wise guys are, and what they want. Don’t be the one to march to their doors and make a statement, as wise guys resent it so much, they will whack your business on the spot and say “forget about it”. Have fun with them, laugh at their jokes, even if they were not funny. Today, you want to be introduced as, “he is alright, he is a friend of mine”, and tomorrow you want to be introduced as “he is a friend of ours, he is a good fella!” Why, because wise guys only do business with wise guys!
Have you talked to a wise guy today, my friend?