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Marketing and Commitment

Yesterday I was at an Online & Dialogue Marketing Forum in Zurich, with about 200 participants mainly from the business world. It was interesting to see the many ways and approaches to turn people into customers: How do I attract people to buy what I want to sell? One speaker, Markus Gabriel, however pointed out that more and more people turn away from being receptible to traditional advertising activities, by zapping away or by using communication channels without ads. And more and more people like expressing their opinion online – in blogs, forums, comments. He said that about 85% of the content on the web is done by private persons in their freetime – besides enormous amounts of trash you find highly qualified contributions, and all done without financial benefit. The whole Wikipedia encyclopedia lives by this free commitment.
People like to express freely and directly, give comments and recommendations – which are often more observed than the official communications of enterprises. There are blogs with high interlinkings and thus are sometimes positioned as high as the enterprise sites, even of big companies.
The voices of private people become more dominant than official channels. On the other hand companies are profiling customers to be able to approach them more directly with what they suppose people want.
Most important however for people is trust in the information, and thus they go by what their friends recommend them. Mouth-to-mouth recommendations are the strongest.
This I also observe in the field of the good-will website: When the monthly newsletter goes out, normally there are several new people asking to be included in the mailing list. This is probably the result of recommendations of the readers. On the other hand it is true that wisdom does not spread by marketing, but by itself. It attracts people who are searching for it, and no marketing activity would ever really incite someone to follow the path of self-transformation, where an enduring effort and commitment is needed.

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