Great Marketing Begins at Yes

How We Treat Customers

On her blog, Creating Passionate Users, Kathy Sierra brilliantly compares full color company brochures with boring, black & white user manuals to illustrate the need for placing greater marketing focus on the existing customer. For whatever reason acquisition seems to trump retention. Quantity trumps quality. Immediate return trumps long term growth. Perhaps this is because it is just easier to measure. New customers are easy to track, much more so than the ripple effect of word of mouth. However, this thinking is problematic. It puts the focus on attaining that which we do not yet have, instead of paying attention to cultivating and appreciating the resources already at our disposal. It is wasteful, lazy, and shortsighted. By truly energizing and engaging existing customers- focusing on blowing them away with a remarkable experience, a virtuous cycle of organic growth develops. Word of mouth is powerful, and existing customers are the source of that power. As professionals, loyal customers deserve to be the absolute center the universe. Of course you need new customers to grow. Sure the sexy brochure is important. It is part of the courtship of the customer and appearances do matter. But once you have that relationship, those appearances don’t stop mattering. In fact, they matter more. Other people are watching. Other people are listening. Let your customers know they matter and more customers will come. That is what GREAT marketing is all about. The relationship should begin and grow at “yes” – not wither and die.

Creating Passionate Users: Why marketing should make the user manuals!

2 Responses to “Great Marketing Begins at Yes”


  1. 1 David Esrati August 30, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    Well- this is why Apple is Apple- and the rest aren’t. The entire experience of opening an iPod package- or a MacBook box is thought out-
    So many companies forget that the real sale comes after they have your money… esp. with the ability for anyone to post their horror stories on the web.

  2. 2 david August 30, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    Could not agree more Mr. Esrati. I was actually thinking specifically of my iPod when I was posting this. Apple understands that the entire user experience, not just the initial sale, is what creates lasting value.


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