Networking: The Lost Art
Over the last several days, I have been traveling to attend a conference that one of my clients puts on twice a year. The Rocky Mountain Asphalt User Producers Group (RMAUPG- long name and Acronym, I know). The mission of the organization is, in short, to chat about what works in asphalt and what doesn’t. Now, I have been exposed to this industry all my life since my father has made this type of work his career. What I want to talk about is how this industry does business.
I have always been an advocate of marketing and all the channels it employs since I know that is the quickest and most thorough way to accomplish a company’s goals. However, watching attendees at this conference, I realize the way they do business isn’t necessarily with elaborately designed logos and marketing materials, integrated and detailed marketing strategies, or expensive and time-consuming consumer promotions. This group relies on a tried and true strategy: Talking. Before the days of social networking, there was just plain networking. Yeah, unbelievable, right? People actually traveled on planes, had meetings and chatted over drinks and dinner.
I have watched my dad create a very successful career out of just this tactic. With that said, one cannot discount traditional marketing tactics of advertising, direct mail, salesmanship, PR, etc, etc, etc. BUT when networking is implemented in conjunction with other marketing channels, the result would be that much better. Including networking with an integrated marketing campaign can contribute significantly to the success of long-term goals, whether they are personal or professional.