Roy's Blog: Marketing
August 11, 2011
I have stated before that the customer contact is a critical Strategic Opportunity if we are open to seeing it in this light. Normally, however, organizations see it as merely a transaction; the goal being to deal with what the customer wants as efficiently as possible.
There is a HUGE opportunity cost of treating a customer contact from only a business transaction point of view. You rob yourself of the chance to:
- Learn more about the person: their Secrets that can power your marketing machine and enable more personalized customer service.
- Dazzle them by doing something they DON’T expect you to do.
- Reinforce your Brand by your behavior.
- Deepen your relationship with them by engaging in a conversation that shows you care.
When a person touches your organization it represents a Tipping Point. Will they tip your way and tell others how great you are? Or will they spread the word that you are an insensitive and uncaring organization, interested only in furthering your own business goals?
You DO have a choice. Invite people to call you. Talk to them. Discover what makes them tick.
August 8, 2011
Apps or Experiences?
Thank You #1
Seems to me that Bonnie Raitt has nailed the challenge facing marketing organizations that want to BE DiFFERENT. It’s not about better products or services. It’s not about lower prices.
It IS about creating relevant and compelling VALUE with enough emotional appeal that people talk about you to others. Stimulating an active conversation among your fans is the viral way. The ONLY way. If people don’t talk about what you do, you’re invisible and fade away into the faceless Herd.
So instead of asking the question ‘What incremental changes should we make to our product?’, ask ‘What can we do that resonates emotionally with our Fans that will get them talking about us?’
Such as? Do quirky stuff. The ‘normal’ won’t cause a chatter. Do edgy stuff that will appeal to The Outliers, the folks that live on the edges of the market normally and who are often listened to as early adopters.
Talk about your VALUE in a DiFFERENT way. Use rich and colorful words to describe your stuff. And make sure you make it easy for people to talk about you. Do you have a Blog? So you use the Social Media tools available? You should.
Relevant Marketing. Remarkable Marketing. Memorable Marketing. Give ‘em something to wail over. BE heard. BE engaging. BE DiFFERENT. Create a Tribe for what you do.
August 6, 2011
Apple is BE DiFFERENT
This is not the first time I have written about Research in Motion (RIM). The links are above.
My views have been consistent: RIM ‘s competitive position is faltering because they have not moved off their original (tired) strategy of selling Smartphones. Flogging Technology. Pushing features. Compare this to Apple’s strategy of launching hundreds of thousands of applications which create unique and interesting experiences for their fans. And Google’s strategy to leverage their platform and functionality for mobile users.
In the beginning when they literally had no competition the pure product play worked for RIM as it did for any innovator in the early adoptive period of a disruptive technology. The Blackberry device sold like hot cakes and RIM became an investor’s delight. However, I have predicted that the winner in this arena will be the supplier that innovates around Experience Creation not products and technology. And I think Apple has the clear advantage (today) over everyone else.
The recent announcement that RIM plans to layoff people as a cost reduction measure tells me they are in SERIOUS TROUBLE . Cost cutting isn’t a strategy. It’s a reaction to a strategy that in fact is NOT WORKING. It is a short term tactic to preserve margins in the face of an eroding market position. It’s meant to placate the investment community. It’s an admission that they cannot solve their financial challenges by successfully competing.
I am not a fan of short term cost cutting. Bad stuff can happen. Customer service can suffer because the wrong costs are removed. External market activity can be given a lower priority than looking internally for efficiency improvements. Customer programs can be curtailed or cut out entirely. Employee training can be suddenly viewed as “discretionary” and substantially reduced.
Valuable employees leave and take with them their experience and expertise which they gladly give to another company (usually a competitor). The remaining employee population starts to worry about their own future; productivity declines.
The Company’s Brand suffers. Their people-cutting actions speak volumes about their lack of humanity to the markets. People leaving start talking on social media about how they have been treated and about other “goings-on” in the company that may not be flattering.“The Cut” can actually exacerbate an ready bad situation.
There is only one viable option for RIM (sorry, but I’ll say it again). They MUST dump their technology-centered strategy. Start innovating around VALUE and EXPERIENCES for their Fans. Time to change the game. The current direction isn’t working.
And PLEASE. They need to get off the copycat approach. They cant effectively copy Apple or Google. They have proved they don’t measure up.
I’m afraid if RIM can’t renew themselves (which I think they can, by the way. They just need a serious intervention) they will fail.
If you’re not DiFFERENT you’re dead, or soon will be. Want proof? Is Nortel still around?
Final point: NO organization can survive with two CEO’s.
Tick.. Tick… Tick… Tick
August 4, 2011
Apps or Experiences?
Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest book is an interesting heads-up for today’s leaders wondering if Social Media is worth pursuing. If SM has any ROI. If SM has a marketing role. If SM has an impact on their Company’s future success.
Gary’s work resonates with me. It builds on BE DiFFERENT and the critical importance of building deep long-lasting relationships with people.
- ‘Its no longer enough that a strong marketing initiative simply funnels a brand’s one-way message down the consumer’s throat. To have an impact, it will have to inspire an emotionally charged interaction’.
- business now has the ability to scale one-on-one relationships like never before.
- if you can get beyond flogging products to expose your heart and soul people will respond and buy from you.
- ‘... what pays off most is your willingness to show people you care - about them, about their experience with you, about their business.’
- ‘Social Media has transformed our world into one great big small town… by the strength of relationships, the currency of caring and the power of word of mouth.’
- businesses that are unwilling to engage in meaningful conversations with people are dead (or soon will be).
- ‘You cannot underestimate the sharpness of people’s BS radar - they can spot a soulless, bureaucratic tactic a million miles away.’
- ‘Valuing every single customer is mandatory in The Thank You Economy.’ I need to think more on this one as it suggests targeting customers that will allow you to satisfy your growth goals may not be the way to go. Not there from a resource allocation perspective but culturally it makes sense.
There is much more to say about Gary’s work. More to come in future articles…..