I like Andy Sernovitz from GasPedal.com. Andy seemed completely straightforward when I spoke to him on the phone, and we both agree that the humanizing elements of social media allow us to break barriers of trust so necessary in sales and marketing.
Andy and the crew at GasPedal help large companies leverage social media. As most larger companies I’ve seen are very metrics oriented, this can’t be a very small feat. Big companies are often too concerned with getting masses of fans, versus engaging existing fans who can bring the masses to them. They fail to see that one consumer really has a lot of power these days and mass marketing just doesn’t work anymore.
I liveblogged GasPedal’s BlogWell conference in Austin because I thought they were a good group of folks and the topics seemed interesting. In the mail, I received both a hand written thank you and a big box of popcorn from GasPedal for doing so. Can Andy measure how much this box of popcorn earned him? No. Was he anticipating I would write this? I doubt it. If your employees are not empowered to appreciate your community and fans the way Andy and crew showed some appreciation for me, you don’t get it.
In this digital age where everything is an email or a tweet, it’s the analog forms of kindness that actually stand out. They indicate some form targeted efforts towards individuals, a scarcity in a world where people have 800 loosely joined friends. There is also a certain level of intimacy in such transactions because we either have to see that person or know their address. In these respects, analog transactions are better indicators of our actual friends and fans.
How do you react when you get a physical gift or hand-written letter from someone? Is it any different than it was pre-Facebook? How about pre-email?