We like to discuss big marketing and technology upheavals. We postulate possible social media advancements and potential customer benefits. We look forward, always searching for the next big thing. It can get a little complicated and abstract. For this article, let’s rewind.
You’re 10 years old. You want to buy the latest Nintendo game and your monthly allowance isn’t cutting it. So you, like many enterprising youths, go into that most respectable of businesses: The lemonade stand.
You stake out a neighbourhood corner and set up shop. You try to persuade passersby to buy a drink. Most walk away, but some buy a glass. You earn enough to purchase another batch of lemons and return to the stand.
After a while, you establish a rapport with repeat customers. You know who likes a sour drink and who enjoys a watered-down beverage. You know who won’t drink cold lemonade and who needs three ice cubes in their glass. You know all this because you talk with your customers. You have a one-on-one relationship with them. You’re able to cater to their specific needs. You have a personal connection with your consumers.
Flash-forward. Today, there’s a gap between the customer and the company. No matter how active on social media a corporation is or how many emails it sends out, there’s always a gulf between them and everyday consumers. Companies can feel monolithic and impersonal, which can hinder its relationship with people. They need a bridge to connect them. They need something like Hustle.
Hustle is an interesting new app. Essentially, it’s a text distribution service that allows users to send mass messages to large groups. The hook? Each message is personalized to read as a one-on-one conversation. The text is built to address the recipient by name and looks like a personal email, not a part of a massive messaging blast.
The idea behind Hustle is to connect directly with recipients. People can respond to the emails they receive and have quick conversations with the senders. Hustle users can establish a rapport with the people they want to reach. It’s mass messaging with a personal, human touch.
At the moment, Hustle is used by politicians and event organizers. But imagine advertisers using such an app. They could reach a large swath of customers with a personal email. Advertisers could get genuine feedback and data, alert specific consumers to certain deals, and build a one-to-relationship with customers. Hustle could be the key to reconnecting with jaded, disaffected buyers.
It’s uncertain if advertisers will adopt Hustle, or if the app will be available to them. But even if they don’t use it, they need to learn a lesson from it. Companies and advertisers must stay big. That’s how they maintain their wide reach and influence. But they can’t lose the personal component. Customers crave the human factor, the sensation of a relationship. Advertisers have to be big and personal, massive and relatable, far-reaching and intimate. It’s a tricky act to pull off, but the rewards are well worth it. A connected customer base is a loyal customer base.