It is considered unkind to speak ill of the dead but when I think of my first boss it is sometimes hard not to grind my teeth and curse.
His people skills were so poor he wasn’t allowed to work in the office and had he not been one of the owners of the company there is a good chance he would have been fired. Not to mention he made Luddites look like Apple fan boys, computers in his mind were a complete waste of time.
However some decades later I can look back and give him credit for helping me remember there is no substitute for meeting someone in person.
Technology Doesn’t Replace The Power Of In Person
Technology is my friend and I am an avid user of many tools. Can’t count the number of times I have participated in meetings via conference call, Skype, Google Hangouts or used some other technological wonder to cross time and space because I couldn’t be there in person.
Mind you, I wouldn’t give up my phone, computer or any of these other tools because overall they have improved my professional and probably personal lives.
But they haven’t ever proven to be a legitimate substitute for shaking hands, grabbing coffee or having a meal with someone. That is because there are some things that never translate over the airwaves, or at least they haven’t in my experience.
And that in person experience is what modern marketing misses out on.
You Don’t Have To Reinvent The Wheel
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. The trick isn’t to work harder, but to work smarter.
So one of the questions I always ask when planning a campaign is if there is an effective and efficient way to include the human element.
Sometimes there simply isn’t and sometimes there really isn’t a need. Face-to-face isn’t all an all purpose solution for every business challenge or opportunity.
But given the direction some things are heading it is worth taking a second to think about it and ask if there is a way to integrate it because people respond better to the man/woman/child they see standing in front of them than the Facebook status update.
Think for a moment about your favorite author/actor/blogger and ask yourself if given the choice would you rather meet them in person one-on-one or read/watch an interview that asked all of the questions you would had you met them.
There Is No Right Or Wrong Answer
I don’t believe there is a single right or wrong answer to that question any more than I believe in there being only one way to be successful in social media.
Nor am I trying to straddle the fence here. I firmly believe that the human element makes the difference and that it can put a campaign over the top.
But since humans are not monolithic in our likes or dislikes it would be negligent not to mention it.
What do you think? Is face-to-face something that matters? Is it only applicable for sales or are there other areas?