Taking and receiving (construction marketing) criticism: The constructive approach

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Consultant Bruce Johnson (wiredtogrow.com) made an interesting and important point when he read this recent Construction Marketing Ideas blog posting:

Mark

Thanks for the props. Much appreciated!Also, just one thought as I was reading your blog post. One of the dominant teachings I share about marketing is that post Genesis 3, everyone is motivated primarily by self-interest. In other words, your readers and mine, really don’t care about us, they care about themselves.

In light of that, as I was reading your blog post, I kept thinking, “This is about Mark, not me or his readers.”

This doesn’t mean you can’t share your story, but rather you need to frame it as part of our story. And the easiest way to do that is to ask us questions, “Have you ever … I remember when …”

Hope that helps!

Best wishes,

Bruce

He is absolutely right.  The blog posting is not about you, and it should be.  Stories based on personal experience undoubtedly have some value, but the only stories you rightfully really care about is one which respond to your circumstances, experiences and goals.

I appreciated Bruce’s constructive criticism and will apply it in future postings (and, yes, I received his permission before quoting from his email here — readers can be confident they will never be identified publicly from their emails to me unless they have given permission.)

While Bruce’s and my own email crossed, another email, promoting an intriguing new book worthy of recommendation, landed in my in-box.  The writer used some really great techniques to attract attention and indicate mystery, but may have carried things too far — none of the “call to action” links appeared to work in the version he sent me.

So I sent him an email advising of this fact.  A “criticism” but probably helpful.  No need to disclose his identity  publicly, though.

We can and should be able to take and receive criticism — constructive (if negative) input can help us improve our processes and methodologies, and if we listen, we may learn some important lessons about effective construction marketing, and catch our mistakes before they get out of hand.

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