A few days ago I noted that many book publishing marketing books and blogs ignore the ‘r’ word: relationship.

Those same books and blogs also regularly confuse or disregard the difference between communication and conversation. From a marketing perspective, communication is a one-way distribution of information while conversation involves a two-way dialogue.

I was struck by a recent post on Michael Hyatt’s blog written by Mary DeMuth, in particular one of the comments.

Jeffrey Holton: “It’s all about conversation and relationship.”
Mary DeMuth: “Agreed. Conversation and relationship.”

Ask yourself: are you communicating at your audience or having a conversation with them?

If you’re a popular twitterer (you may have several thousand followers or more), can you have a genuine conversation? Can you really build a meaningful relationship with your audience? The answer is of course yes you can, but it requires a significant amount of skill and a lot of hard work.

Ultimately you’ll only know how meaningful a relationship is when your customers actually buy your stuff.