In today’s day and age, it seems everywhere we look it’s all about “me.” Selflessness is certainly not the most popular or seemingly profitable thing to do.
But by laying down your needs and desires and replacing them with the needs and desires of your customers, you may actually see your business grow and succeed beyond anything you could have imagined.
At PHOS, one of our core values is love, which represents our passion for selflessness and servanthood. We take this core value into every client meeting, team meeting, and everything we do here at PHOS, and we’ve seen firsthand the fruits of laying down our ego and putting others first.
Selflessness, surprisingly, teaches us a lot about ourselves. Here’s how we’ve seen selfless marketing work.
Value Their Time
The new greatest value in marketing is how much attention you can maintain from your customers. The attention you receive needs to be rewarded with valuable, relevant, and engaging content. Most people are used to scrolling past posts instantaneously or clicking out of a website immediately without even absorbing what is on the page.
According to Forrester’s Top Trends for Customer Service in 2016, 73% of online consumers say valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good service. So, what does that look like from a marketing perspective?
It means creating content that solves the problems of your customers, providing valuable information, giving them a responsive and user-friendly website to visit, creating ads that are useful as opposed to intrusive, and making every interaction with them pleasant, efficient, helpful, and memorable.
The key here is to meet your customers where they’re at and offer them a great experience with your product and brand from start to finish while doing so in a way that shows you value their time and attention.
“Selfless marketing means forgetting about the bottom line, our products, and personal ambitions by fanatically serving our customer’s needs.” – August Turak
Give It Your All
Selflessness is not a small gesture. Its very definition is “to be concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own.” That’s not something that comes naturally or easily to many people.
It’s definitely easier said than done, but as with anything, it comes with practice. Making selflessness a habit can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Once you’ve established the habit, selflessness will transcend your behavior and permeate through to your relationships, business, and life.
Selflessness is also a trait of leadership because you are giving all of yourself to benefit someone else. Selflessness is all or nothing: there is no in-between. Take that into consideration when you act in service of others because it takes a leader to lay down their own needs for the needs of another.
The importance of listening to your customers cannot be overstated. If you’re not taking the time and energy to listen to your customers, it’s only a matter of time before you lose their business.
Customers are constantly sharing their thoughts and opinions on social media, and it really doesn’t take that much effort to tune in to what your customers are saying about you and your business.
Social listening allows you to understand the needs, desires, problems, and behaviors of your target audience right where they are: on social media. It’s more important than ever to be completely tuned-in and invested in the needs of your customers.
Being selfless by listening to instead of talking at your customers will ultimately lead to better customer relationships, increased brand loyalty, and, more than likely, improved business.
Make Time to Engage
When it comes to marketing and ad spend budgets, many think it’s a waste of time to engage customers online. Some see all time spent commenting, responding, or starting conversations with customers on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social platform as meaningless.
In our experience, this isn’t the case.
Most recently, we helped local utility company GRU act, respond, and educate through social media during Hurricane Irma. By being proactive and selfless, GRU was able to give much-needed support during a critical time.
While it wasn’t direct marketing or advertising, simply being there, providing valuable and relevant content, and fielding customer concerns and questions before, during, and after the storm made GRU’s approach to Hurricane Irma the epitome of selflessness.
GRU did the seemingly impossible: they maintained the elusive “very responsive” badge on Facebook, which is only given to pages that have over a 90% response rate and an average response time of 15 minutes or less. Not only that, but during the course of the storm, they responded to customers on Facebook over 2,800 times.
Twitter saw even more success: 478 new followers and a reach of over 218,000 people.
Their customers certainly felt the love:
If there was ever an example of selfless marketing, GRU’s efforts during Hurricane Irma set the example. Their sacrifice of time and energy paid dividends in organic reach and brand loyalty. With their immediate response and empathetic efforts, they put the needs of their customers first and showed that they were willing to serve, especially at such a critical time for the community.
Selflessness ≠ Fame
Something to keep in mind as you take the next steps into selflessness for your business: more often than not, you need to act without the expectation that your love will be reciprocated.
There will be people and businesses that will see and appreciate your selfless efforts, but sadly, many won’t. You won’t get that reshare, repost, or regram from your followers or the other key influencers in your industry.
And that’s ok.
“Service and selflessness is not about sacrificing growth and profitability for some abstract and elusive ‘common good.’ It is just good business.” ~ August Turak, author of Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity
Remember to keep going, keep being selfless. The key to selfless marketing, and in life, is acting out of the desire to serve others, not to receive. If your intentions are selfish to begin with, it will show, and your efforts may backfire.
Just remember, in selfless marketing, it’s all about them.
At PHOS, our team operates with the selfless marketing mindset every day. Check out “Our Why” page to discover how we’re able to accomplish that when marketing for ourselves and for our clients.