I like a good argument. My sister and I would do it all the time growing up. Mom would order us to stop bickering. We’d deny it and explain we’re “discussing”. As adults, our arguments are vicious, lighthearted and as funny as TBS.
This morning NPR Morning Edition played a story on how scientists are discovering that we really do get smarter as we grow older. And we can make ourselves smarter with, guess what … excersize. OH, and having regular “discussions”. Disagreement makes us sharp, helps us clarify our thoughts.
I often read lately marketing authorities expressing concern that marketing professionals don’t take risks anymore. Marketers are afraid of making some random person in the crowd upset. My early years in marketing was in a position that balanced customer support (repeat sales and customer retention) with attracting new business. In customer support, you DO NOT want to disagree with anyone. It’s like arguing the Bible; only sometimes fun, more often emotional and will never get you anywhere.
“The experts” are right, though. We need to spark disagreement in your marketing. We need to wake people’s brains up. We need to get them talking … and in the process, weed out the people who actually, truly disagree. What we have left are fans. Smart, enthusiastic fans who are more fun to work with, cost us less to retain and help build momentum in our marketing.
So. Be daring. Don’t be afraid of making people walk away. When they do, it’s entirely likely you’re both better off for it. (Just don’t make everyone walk away, that would be bad.)