Beagle Lovers Make Better Marketers

Part beagle, part basset, all love—my best pal, Roger (circa 2007). 

Part beagle, part basset, all love—my best pal, Roger (circa 2007). 

I'm enjoying my second week of a work/play visit to Toronto.

Among the unexpected delights: the friendly and engaging nature of the people here. A simple "hello" often evolves into a heartfelt conversation. 

Today, walking back from lunch, I saw an older woman walking a puckish beagle, so I called out playfully, "I love your dog!" 

I've done the same thing many times back home but rarely get more than a smile and a "thank you." Sometimes people are suspicious—or even affronted.

But, instead, the Toronto woman asked me a curious question: "Oh, have you had beagles before?" 

"Yes, in fact, two," I responded. And 10 minutes later we were still talking, finding connections neither of us knew we shared—and exchanging stories both of us could relate to.  

Marketers spend far too much time promoting when they should be engaging customers in conversations instead.

It's amazing what you will learn if you just ask the right questions.