Being human is an important part of being a marketer. And generally, the people that are best at being human are the ones that are good at being grateful. So how good are you when it comes to gratitude for others? Take a look at this metric:
Number of times you’ve said thank you / Number of times you’ve been helped = Your level of gratitude
According to this math, if the ratio equals “1”, you are perfectly grateful. Except you’re not. Saying thank you is nice, but real gratitude involves more than just talking. Let’s improve our equation:
Number of times you’ve helped / Number of times you’ve been helped = Your level of gratitude
Now, a score of “1” would indicate perfect gratitude. Except it still doesn’t. Are we really able to calculate this metric with exactness? Let’s look at this equation:
Number of times you have been helped that you know of / Total number of times you have been helped = Your level of awareness
No one will ever earn a score of “1” on this metric. We are forgetful, we lose track, we tend to focus on the negative more than the positive, and we just aren’t aware of everything that happens or has happened. Can you calculate the number of things your parents have done for you? Not likely; a numerous amount of them happened when you were a baby. How about calculating how much sacrifice has gone into making your country free? Again, it’s impossible. And these two examples say nothing about the things that are done for us day by day that we simply don’t know about.
The point is, we are all in a great deal of gratitude debt. So much so, that even if we spent our whole lives being grateful in every way we knew how, we’d never get it paid off. So why bother calculating it?
Well, we shouldn’t. We have learned our lesson from trying to calculate it. And that lesson is that we need to be more grateful than we think we should be. Because in the final analysis, even that will end up being less than we really should be.
Showing gratitude, being helpful, and adding value are good marketing practices. More importantly, they’re good human practices.