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Where marketing is at today

Two things happened yesterday. And since there’s a nice tie in, I’d like to talk about both of them.

First, here at TAS, we launched a new condominium project called Kingston&Co. We had already gone public with some information, but we now have an updated rendering and we’ve gone live with a public Q&A section on our website ( The questions are all geared towards topics that we think are on a lot of people’s minds and anybody can respond. Instead of trying to cover up the elephant in the room, we wanted to do the opposite and get it out and into the open. It’s all about promoting greater transparency.

Second, I watched this 45-minute interview with author and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk last night before going to bed. It’s a great video and I would encourage you to watch it if you have any interest in entrepreneurship, social media, marketing, capitalism and overall hustle. But if you don’t have the time, here are some of my key takeaways. Gary makes, on average, between $3-5 million a year selling the social media dream (but it could be more depending on things like his angel investments). Everybody is a media company first. He has clients putting 100% of their marketing dollars into social media and they’re seeing a ROI. It took him 1 ½ years to get anybody to care about his video blog Wine Library TV. And don’t just ask. Give as well.

That last point is a tie in to his latest book called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. And what he’s effectively saying is that, as a brand, you need to be mostly giving to your customers (that’s the jab). It could be valuable content you produce via social media or whatever. It’s you, delivering value to your customers in some way. Then, once you’ve done that, you can go in for the right hook, which is the ask: Buy my stuff. The idea is that you build up trust with your customers and develop a relationship so that you get the privilege of asking them to give you money.

The alternative, of course, is what we’re all already familiar with: brands constantly bombarding people with right hooks. It’s the let’s throw a bunch of shit up against the wall and see what sticks approach. And it’s related to the whole permission marketing vs. interruption marketing debate popularized by marketer Seth Godin.

But Gary’s argument–and I found this really interesting–is that constant right hooks is the approach we had to take before the internet and things like social media. Those right hooks were so expensive to deliver through billboards, print ads, TV commercials and so on, that companies simply couldn’t afford to be delivering any jabs. But all that has changed with social media and technology. Now, the best brands succeed by building trust and establishing relationships with their customers–often one-by-one.

And this is exactly what we’re trying to do with Kingston&Co. We know that there’s a lot of discussion happening in the marketplace around condos and we didn’t want to ignore it. We wanted to address it. And if you look at our messaging, you’ll notice that in most cases we’ve put “Join the conversation” ahead of the typical “Register now.” That’s because we truly do want to have a conversation.

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