Monday, September 05, 2005

7,000 Moving Parts that Do Nothing

I am told that the medal winning exhibit at the 1851 Exposition in London was a steam powered machine with 7,000 parts that ran in perfect synchronization, but did nothing else. It had no purpose except to prove that such a complex monster could whirl and spin.

It reminds me of many of our companies. Thousands of moving parts that do nothing because the organization is not aimed at achieving a collective goal. If you aim at nothing, you will most surely hit it.

The focus of all our corporate moving parts must be to serve customers ... to provide them a needed and unique value. But if we aim somewhere else, we'll never become a customer-centric company. Everything should be centered on the customer. Lock, stock and barrel. Hook, line and sinker. A total commitment.

That has to come from the corporate leaders, but it must also be adopted by us all.

The customer first vision is the front line to transforming business. Once that is set in place, then contextual marketing can gain the foothold.

The content we produce -- whether it be on the website, collateral, advertising, publicity, telemarketing scripts, sales elevator speeches -- all content must help the customer understand their needs more clearly and demonstrate how your solutions mesh with these needs. This is a mile wide from the kind of content that most marketers have been trained to deliver ... content that acts like the 7,000 parts of the medal winning steam machine with no purpose except to serve itself.

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