Saturday, July 02, 2005

Touching the Spirit of Your Customers

No one cares about your marketing except you. The rest have already tuned you out. You can yell, scream and dance, but they don’t really care about you. They are too busy surviving, caring about themselves. And no one seems to care about them. The secret to marketing is to get them tuned back to you by you tuning into them.

Customers do not filter out what they find relevant. And while you might think your product features and benefits are relevant, most times they are not – until you attach them to other information that has primal relevance to the individual. Slide along with this information instead of making your product the center of attention. Gain respect and trust first.

What’s the secret to making this an intuitive process? Simple really, but it requires a transformation of thinking. We must come to see ourselves as serving customers instead of customers serving our needs. I don’t think you can really make the leap without adopting a real and unconditional concern for their wellbeing that transcends the stuff you are selling.

Microsoft’s recent TV campaign “We See Potential” is contextually relevant – the commercials talk to me and help me see Microsoft in a different light than I saw them previously. Before they were this giant cold company selling software and now they are a caring company trying to help me reach my potential.

Contextual marketing is a corporate expression of caring, an outpouring of concern. It feels kind, cooperative, humble, gracious. It touches me where oldline feature-benefit marketing could never touch me. It respects me and now I am engaged and want to learn more about the company.

Words from another old master that are still meaningful today: “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.


At 12:57 PM, Anonymous troy Brumley said...

I forget who said it, but a saying along these lines is "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." I find the Microsoft commercials annoying because I don't believe they really do have any interest in what I'm trying to do, but I could be wrong there.

When companies used to talk about empowerment and allowing front line people to make customer decisions, we were on the way toward really serving the customer, but now that so much contact is web or call center based, how can we provide service when we don't get to know each other?


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