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Your Marketing “Relationship” Analogy is Just Wrong

OK so I’ve heard a ton of marketers talk about how you “wouldn’t ask to marry someone you just met,” comparing this act to offering your product to a lead too early in their buying journey.

The thing is, buying a product is absolutely nothing like committing to a marriage or even committing to long-term dating. Customer relationship marketing does not a marriage make.

Buying a product is absolutely nothing like committing to a marriage or even committing to long-term dating. Click To Tweet

Buying a product can be a one time thing; it can cost less than you have in your wallet right now; and it can happen in less than a minute.

And unless it’s software, it’s not really a commitment of any kind. Even if it is software, you get to renew your vows every year.

Here’s the kicker: The product doesn’t even have to love you back.

None of those things really apply to marriages.

What’s a more apt dating analogy for presenting someone with an early product offer, is asking someone to go on a date with you the first time you meet them.

Which people have done, and it’s worked out. Around 40% of US couples now meet online. Sometimes they decide in that moment of viewing a profile whether to go on a date. And, when you know, you know. Love is certainly blind, people.

In short: There’s no harm in asking for what you most want up-front, so long as you respect the person’s response.

So present your first-time website visitor with that product offer or show off your product on Facebook to an entirely new viewer who matches your interests.

If they don’t engage, then back into a softer offer.

Meanwhile, let your “relationship” marketing friend continue to noncommittally play around with only tofu content like ebooks.

Who do you think will have a healthier revenue relationship?

Would it be too much to ask if article gave you something to think about to please send a $5 tip to my Venmo tip jar? @megsterr.

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By Megan Mitzel

I'm the wearer of overalls behind the marketing advice website Marketing Overalls. I'm also a senior marketing director with more than ten years of experience leading acquisition and lifecycle marketing at successful startups. Before that, I got a business degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before that, I owned a seashell shop. And that's the tea on me.