Sometimes you don’t need community. Sometimes you just need a hamburger


Occasionally in the marketing space we drink too much of our own Kool Aid.

I observed a talk recently where a leading social media speaker told the audience that people don’t want to buy something. They want to join a movement, they want to be part of something bigger.

Perhaps I am unique — although I don’t think so — in that sometimes I just want a hamburger without joining anything. You know, you just feel hungry and you want a juicy, grilled patty of meat.

I don’t want to join a movement.

I don’t need a community and I don’t want to be part of something bigger.

I don’t need human connection through Twitter.

I just want a freaking burger. I go to the place that’s close to my house. That’s how I make my decision.

Another thing. Sometimes I need a car wash. Or I want to buy some apples. Or I want a massage because I overdid it on the weekend.

You know what would help me in the buying process? A Google+ hang out? A Twitter chat? A Meerkat broadcast?

No. I want a coupon.

Isn’t always fun to have a coupon for 15% off something you want to buy? I would rather get a good deal than be part of the car wash Facebook community. In fact, I would probably NEVER join a car wash Facebook community.

Here’s what my wife does. She Googles for coupons. She’s really good at it. And often, the coupon determines where I buy because she makes me go there.

You know another reason I buy things? Great service.

I recently had some repair work done on my home. The estimator made a mistake, admitted it, and made up the difference out of his own commission. I will always buy from him now. I have never visited the company’s Facebook page. I don’t intend to friend the guy on Instagram. I have not joined his social media movement. But he HAS earned my loyalty.

For Pete’s sakes people. There are still a lot of products out there that we buy due to price, placement, promotion and the nature of the product.

I recently saw a presentation from a leading speaker saying the 4 Ps are dead because of social media. Come on. MOST of what we buy day-to-day is still determined by the 4 Ps. Put the Kool Aid down and take a deep breath there fella.

There is certainly a place for social media in the marketing mix for most companies (there are some exceptions). But sometimes you just need to keep it simple and remember why people really buy things. Rarely do they need to join a movement.

Photo courtesy of Flickr CC and Antonio Koenigk

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