Marketing business sales

I saw someone using a payphone the other day. I figured he was just trying to get a clever Instagram shot in hopes of being on a sponsored AT&T post. Nope — he was actually making a call…or making a fake call to avoid an ex-girlfriend. (I’m not sure those things are even connected anymore.)

Regardless of his reason, the fact that this seems striking is because it’s so out of place. As processes catch up to new technologies, we either abandon the old version (like the payphone), or we merge the old and the new, like an e-magazine. But some processes take longer to catch up to the technologies now fueling them.

Consider, for example, the way we choose who we do business with (personally and professionally). In most cases, not much has progressed in 20 years. We’re still looking through directories, flipping through flyers, or at the very most, perusing the online version of them. Beyond that, we’re still relying on word-of-mouth recommendations from our friends.

Up until five years ago, that meant that backyard, over-the-fence word of mouth was still king, and any business with hopes of survival relied on those “Bob told me you do great work” phone calls. Now, we’re all neck-deep in social media. Most of us are connected with many more people than we actually know, and rather than facilitate word of mouth, this can actually complicate it.

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