We are experiencing a paradigm shift in the way we implement our marketing. We are rapidly moving away from mass manipulation to collective cooperation. It is about empowering both customers and companies so that they can both get exactly what they need and want.

Internet technologies facilitate collection, collation and analysis of freely available open source data enabling us to understand exactly where needs are.

We can also begin to decide which of those needs we can meet and which to pass on to other more suitable suppliers.

The shifting sands of an ever changing landscape of our customer communities means that as suppliers we have to get really really good at listening with a genuine ear to hear the messages put out by those we serve.

Now is the time to really get to know our customers. What makes them tick? What makes their blood boil? What makes them smile and feel good?

It is not about what turns them off to keep them turned on, it is about hearing their stories.

It is not about trying to analyse them as a statistic in a mass of statistics it is about reaching out to them as individuals.

Our customers are people with their own hearts, minds and souls. The sooner that we make friends with them the better.

The sooner that we actually understand who they are and what is important to them, the sooner that they will learn to trust what we offer.

If our customers trust us and feel safe in the knowledge that they have made a wise choice in their purchases, they are very much more likely to advocate what we do. Damage that trust and we lose not only the customer but that loss has the potential to create a tidal wave of disapproval destroying everything that we have worked hard to build.

Ultimately mutually supportive relationships between suppliers, competitors, customers, marketers and those who know anything about our markets and our business sector will ensure the success of our enterprising endeavours. If we can maintain a transparency in what we do then we can build on trusting relationships which last a life-time.

All this means that we don’t have to go chasing after every sale like it is our last but instead we can nurture our own interests and passions developing specialisms and uniqueness which serve a highly appreciative audience hungry for what we offer.

Essentially the digital era is giving us permission to be unique. We can fine tune our niche business and our customers can select the companies who deliver exactly what they need and want in the way that they want.

Personal values can transform corporate core objectives generating authentic relationships based on a commonality in beliefs and values. These values may be expressed at an individual level but it moves full circle into manifesting at the community collective level.

The communities may be amorphous entities which are constantly evolving and changing but if we listen well then tuning into to those changes will enable those who are marketing to adapt alongside them.

Change is good. Change in our attitudes can only lead to a more satisfying way of doing business. The pressure is off us to polish our sales speak to fit in pre-defined format allowing instead for our individuality to be our greatest asset enabling us to reach just the people we need.

Credibility, authenticity and reputation become a valuable currency in which we can help each other trade. Specialisms and originality take on a new significance as we can begin to trust that we can find customers who like our particular style – regardless of how quirky and unique we are.

It is definitely time to open our minds to a more cooperative approach to doing business and achieve a fulfilling life doing what we love.

Are you brave enough to be uniquely you, be open and vulnerable to expose who you really are and ensure that your business reflects that heart of what you are about?

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