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Today's Marketing Cookie - Uncommon Customer Experience
"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want."
Today's Marketing Cookie demonstrates the benefits of our best blunders. It's true. The greatest marketing masters are made by learning from the biggest mistakes. As marketers who must measure our metrics, we don't always get the results that we want, and so we learn our lessons and we become a little smarter for the next time. We take risky risks, and try crazy ideas in order to stand out above the rest. When the crazy idea works, we become heroes. When our risk totally flops, we become smarter - except of course when we don't.
Either way, every mistake is a gift that is bestowed upon you. Mistakes are often a gift that you will pay dearly for, and yet is also something you could never buy, or pay a consultant to teach you, nor fully learn in a text book. Today's cookie however, is not about you, your mistakes, or the vast experience you have accumulated.
No. Today's cookie is about your prospects. Unfortunately, learning from mistakes is also true for them. Every prospect you find has been someone else's customer, at some time, somewhere in the past... and they didn't get what they want. It's true. When they have been disappointed enough times by enough other companies, they become experienced buyers. Other marketers, in other companies, have not delivered what they promised, and the result you are left with is a prospect who is now experienced enough to be skeptical of your company, and hesitant to trust your marketing. They've been burned and they want to get what they want. In fact, they want you to want to give them them what they want, and they want you to want what they want too. So, there is only one thing to do.
Keep your promises!
Marketers know that their prospects are skeptical, and so we work hard to prove our credibility, remove their risk, and sweeten the deal. Meanwhile prospects will suspect that your testimonials are staged, and that the terms of your guaranty must have a catch, or that your sales prices were probably already inflated to begin with. The marketplace is loaded with "step right up" incentives targeted at prospects who distrust the offers and do their best to stay at arm's length. The more that prospects build walls and try to keep their distance, the harder marketers work to find cracks in the wall.
Marketers will advertise in every place that their target might see them on TV, or hear them on radio, or click them on a website, or "like" them on Facebook, or wear them on a t-shirt, or notice them on their phone. Depending on how skeptical the audience, marketers will buy a giant sign on the express way, rent blimps, wrap a building, hire a skywriter, call your house during dinner, hire an actor or athlete to speak for them, and they will put their logo on just about any thing, anywhere and every where that their prospect may be looking.
If however, companies are uncommonly committed to keeping their word, and delivering on their marketing promises, their reputation will create a new customer experience, that is unlike any of the relationships a prospect has encountered before. It's true.
My boss once asked me, "what is the most important part of our business?" Without hesitation, I answered saying, "sales." I said sales because it was my experience - based on not getting what I want. When I was the president of a mid-size web development company, I remember walking among my employees, wondering who I might lay off if I didn't have another $300,000 in sales in the next six weeks. The pressure to generate sales in fact, can become so great, that companies will cut back on the quality of their product or sacrifice a little customer satisfaction in order to lift the bottom line.
While sales is important, my boss taught me that sales is only just the beginning. He said, "No Myles. The most important thing in our business is to deliver excellent service for our clients. If we do that, we won't have to sell." It's true. Even during the worst economy in my life time, our company continued to expand, grow and flourish because we increased our level of service, and attention to details, while other agencies decreased. When your prospects choose to trust you and become your customer, it is your ultimate mission to give them what you promised, which is almost always what they want - except of course when it's not.