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Today's Marketing Cookie - Mark Zuckerberg Married
"You can see through people or, you can see people through."
Today's Marketing Cookie is a choice. We get to decide how we will treat others, when we don't truly "know" them. Each and every one of us are a member of a family as well as part of a circle of friends. Our family and circle of friends are people "we know", which sits inside a larger circle of people that, "know of us". This is our social network. The people that "know of you" are not necessarily your friends, but they are paying attention to whatever you let them see, and their impression of you is the measure of your reputation.
As marketers, we should consider this is how it is for your company too. Your fellow employees are your family. Your customers are your friends, and everyone else who "knows of your company" is your social network. Your company's social network includes your competitors, their employees as well as their customers. Yes. In most businesses, every prospect you get, was previously your competitor's customer at some point. A company's social network also includes the media, and their readership. Their collective impression of your company is the measure of it's reputation.
A few people in the world, like athletes, movie stars, and CEOs such as Mark Zuckerberg, will achieve something wonderful (or be otherwise noticeable) and become "famous". When a person (or company) becomes famous, more and more people "know of them" and he or she becomes the center of an abnormally large social network. When a person's social network expands from five thousand to fifty million or more, their reputation can be widely celebrated as well as fall victim to mass scrutiny, criticism and skepticism.
A friend of mine had an engineering company that he worked to build for many years. He put everything he had into it and eventually his company grew. His company caught the eye of other company's customers and was eventually acquired for over one hundred million dollars. Being acquired changed his life. It also changed his social network. I remember him telling me, "People love to see an underdog struggle to win, but they don't really want to see you succeed."
That comment stuck with me.
Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg changed his status on Facebook to "married" and he shared a photo of himself and his lovely bride. I read through some of the comments by people in his social network who "know of him". Many wished him well but some posted comments about his wife being a gold digger, or asked questions about prenuptial agreements, and other inappropriate comments. Some of the people who posted negative comments were scolded by the well-wishers who would prefer to keep Mark's wedding a positive event. As his social network consumes whatever they "know of him", the crowd will eventually come to consensus about their impression and collectively determine his reputation.
If you "know of" Mark Zuckerberg, you are a part of his social network. Whether or not you actively participate in the decision about his reputation, you have a choice of how you will react to his successes and his failures. You have a choice. You can choose to see through people or, you can see people through.