The Middle Man

Anybody in the middle, anybody whose the middle man must bring one thing to the table. They MUST bring value in business. Middlemen add value when they bring taste or judgment or trust to bear on a transaction that isn’t transparent. And if they don’t they lose.

Traditionally in business:

  1. you make a product
  2. then you offer it through some middle man like Walmart, Target, or big-box retailer who has a direct relationship with the consumer and
  3. if your product is priced at $29.99,  for the consumer to pay for it they must feel it’s worth $30, because’ that’s the only reason to buy it, if it’s worth more than I paid for it.

The problem with being a middleman is pretty obvious though. Someone can come along who is cheaper, faster and more efficient. And that someone might be the manufacturer aided by technology.

I believe that in the coming years just in the same way we have a AutoCorrect feature to correct typos and misspelled words, as well as to insert symbols and other pieces of text. Your refrigerator will soon auto-order things that’s in it for you. It will know that you like Simply Orange® Medium Pulp with Calcium & Vitamin D orange juice and see that there’s one left and reorder it.

So, who’s that bad for? The middlemen. The retailers because if it scales, companies like Pepsi co., Coca Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, and Canada Dry will deliver it to you by themselves and keep all that profit they used to pay the middleman.

My point is stop using social media as a middle man, only as a way to push messages. Take the approach of using technology as a faster and more efficient way to create relationships, and create context that scale so when you publish your messages they care enough to first see it, then engage with it and finally share it.

This is how you give your content a chance to be seen.

Note: I’m currently on a 30 Day #notweetleftbehind Challenge and you’re welcome to join me. This is where I’m using social media as a listening platform and when someone tweets anything about me, my company, or something I read and liked, I must respond. You can participate as well by doing the same and responding to a tweet or share or comment about you, or your company using the hash tag #notweetleftbehind at the end of your response.

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