While waiting at a hospital today, I got into a conversation with a very interesting gentleman a few years older than I.
It turns out that we were both horsemen although he is now no longer able to ride. He had owned Morgan and Quarter horses, the same breeds that I have, we were both born in England so we had a few things in common.
What I found most fascinating though was when he related that he had emigrated here from England in the mid 1950’s as a young adult. Within a 10 year period 22 other men from the same small village in England had all emigrated to Ontario.
All 23 of them had known each other and attended the same schools. As each new friend arrived they would make contact with those already here. They have kept this network going for over 50 years meeting as a group once a month. 1 older member has died but the rest keep the regular meeting going.
This to me was a wonderful example of “old style” networking and relationship building.
How many of us are still in regular contact with 23 friends from our school days?
Will we form similar 40 or 50 year relationships with friends on Facebook and twitter? Will the social media sites still be around then or will we have moved on to some more technologically advanced medium?
So what has this to do with marketing? Not much directly, but perhaps the lesson here is that we should be aiming to build 40 or 50 year relationships with our customers and particularly potential customers who might not be ready to do business with us for another few years.
Sowing the seeds for good long term relationships now will increase the chances of them trusting us with their business when they are ready.
Many older baby boomers and seniors have similar long term networks of contacts. We need to remember this when marketing to these groups, trust and brand loyalty are hard to create but once achieved the strength of the network can spread our message very effectively.
I am sure that more examples of enduring networking can be found amongst other immigrant groups from different homelands, yet another opportunity?
Wishing you success in all your endeavours.