timothy falconer's semantic weblog
Big Fractal Tangle

asking for money

Talk as much as you like about sales & marketing, pay big bucks for strategists and research firms, brainstorm your branding and gonzo attention getters, but it all comes down to the simplest of requests: please give us some money.

The natural response is “why should I?” The spectrum of answers can be dizzying: public radio pitches, new car “extras”, “don’t blame us” anxiety inducers, glamour life seduction scenes, and even straight-up “we have something you want” appeals. If you buy into the cluetrain meme, we all want sellers to be straight with us … “here’s what I got, here’s what it does, I think you might like it, what do you think?” Cluetrain says we want authentic human talk, not empty taglines and sterile brochureware.

It’s hard to argue with their points, but there’s a difference between saying, “I believe in parachutes” and jumping out of the plane. It’s easy to say such things, but when you’re betting the farm, when you’re spending your own money, it’s a little bit harder to dismiss long-held market wisdom in favor of what could very well be a trendy feel-good approach. Let all our workers talk directly with customers? Admit our faults openly? Write publicly about personal things? Yeesh!

Well, I’m hoping Cluetrain’s right, cause here’s the thing: we’re gonna be asking the world for money, and we’ve decided to be real about it, which may or may not work. Even though every other successful competitor has encased themselves in marcom talk, we’re gonna let our wrinkles show because we believe it’s the better way to earn your trust.

Standing at the plane door, waiting to jump, heavy with the weight of many thousands of our own dollars at risk, I check my chute one last time and…

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