1. Our social networks are being targeted, tapped, and stolen.
Corporations are very intentional about entering social networks with word of mouth and social media marketing tactics designed to gather customers through personal relationships. This is already happening. “Buy one, refer 3 friends and get it free” is a common offer that places our social networks at risk. When friends begin to target each other for personal gain, relationships change.
What once was a just a party, night out with the girls, parents association meeting, kids ball game or neighborhood bar-b-que becomes an “opportunity”. Friends know when they are victims of a sales program. Sales training about how to be more effective and persuasive just make things more uncomfortable.
But it’s already here. Since it can come through any individual without permission or warning, it can’t be ignored. The force is too strong and variable be eliminated with rules or regulations. It needs to be reformed to serve the common good.
2.When we recognize the value of our social networks, we can secure the funds we need for doing good.
Corporations that are investing millions of dollars in social media network marketing among friends are willing to invest that money in nonprofit organizations that produce the same results for the company- more customers. The same corporations that invest in FB, twittering among friends, followers of a youtube star or word of mouth referrals will gladly support a cause we share as customers.
When we are conscious as a social network, we can shift the flow of finances used for marketing into a common purpose to do good. When those who support a common cause agree to cooperate for community benefit, everyone can win. Transparency and integrity can take away the weirdness and suspicion about hidden agendas or being used.
Agreement up front about a good product with a good company that supports a good cause through our cooperative effort removes the pressure that can be divisive in a social network or cause people to fall away. Only invest your social network for a good cause if you are investing in your network at the same time.
3. Relationship marketing is about RELATIONSHIPS. If done properly, relationships can be strengthened.
When used blindly, any kind of marketing can destroy relationships. Even with good intentions. When marketing becomes a campaign, friends become customers and quotas are to be met, we begin to fear opening the next email or answering the next phone call from certain friends. The spam filter doesn’t work and a “gotcha” contact chips away at goodwill, respect and trust.
With awareness and commitment to relationship ethics of respect, freedom, honesty and justice, bonds can be created around the common good. When resources are shared with equity and transparency, everyone benefits and the joy of economic well being generates hope. Mutuality in fair exchange between friends teach us that an alternative may exist to the win/lose marketing game we’re accustomed to playing.
As we consider what is best for the environment and the disenfranchised and those with special needs among us, the value of social marketing allows us to direct commercial profits toward doing the greatest good. Cooperative effort that creates financial support for creating and sustaining common space and a common purpose creates a true partnership. Everyone contributes and the volume of markets created brings shared power for consumers to support work that provides the most social benefit.
4. Integration of money with relationships develops character by testing motives and revealing values.
Free choices about how money will be spent for essential products and services create a voice from consumers about what companies will receive loyalty over time. We can promote healthy sustainable products and services that are safe and contribute to a better quality of life. Sharing a concern that everyone’s children do well, not just our own creates a caring community and encourages corporations to give attention to multiple benefits and consequences beyond the financial bottom line.
Cooperative intentional buying and selling requires an openness and communication that builds authentic community. Self determination and self sustaining organizations open the door to deeper belonging and positive identity. Shared pride that comes from working together helps reinvent the world as a more peaceful and satisfying place to live. Accountability becomes a personal choice more than attempts at forcing compliance.
5. The next generation needs and deserves a better economic structure.
A more equitable economy allows everyone to participate according to the same rules of distribution. That doesn’t mean that everyone will experience the same benefits, but everyone will have opportunity. Hard work and contribution to the common good will be rewarded. Our acceptance of privilege makes it difficult to visualize a system where more people are able to secure their own welfare, but when serve more than our own interests, we find an abundance that is not easily recognized in a culture where scarcity is assumed.
Short term interest in quarterly reports and weekly balance sheets give way to future studies that include our great great grandchildren. We can spend our income in ways that influence a course of events and create systems to combat unintended negative consequences of current decisions. We can learn to sacrifice today that which makes a way for the best to emerge through us all for generations to come.
The profit motive alone will never accomplish these five objectives. With courage and collaboration we can bring reform to a faulty economic system revolving around greed and self interest. Through agreement to experiment with new forms of exchange, we can discover a better stewardship of all that is given for us to share.