As I was riding the bus into town this morning I was thinking about the notion that somehow many marketers turned the world upside down and no one seemed to notice. It became, all about ‘what message do I want to push’ and ‘how do I want them to feel’ and ‘how do I convince them they will love/need/want Widget A’. Many marketers are lost and confused. They hold long meetings to try to establish why customers aren’t buying “Widget A” over the competitor’s “Widget a”. Widget A being clearly superior and worth an additional $25 since it incorporates a lexicon-algorhythm-solutions-generatormatic-thingie
Time to wake up. The company and brand were never at the centre of all this. It was always the customer. Only now with borderless access to information and highly connected communities ’they’ are onto you, or us, faster than before: exchanging information, pointing out weaknesses in logic, unsupported claims and anything else they perceive as spin. In the new world order the customer is your boss, your employer. Well they always have been, it’s just that the reality is only dawning on many now. So, how about treating them accordingly?
The next time you have an opportunity to speak to a customer or connect with them online, how about using this as the starting premise? Is this (ie what I have to say, or show, or tell) going to:
- be useful (help them make a more informed decision, or make their life easier)
- be interesting (add insight/something worth pondering) or
- entertain them (add joy/fun).
If the answer is ‘yes, I think so’ then check and recheck. Is this ‘value add’ according to the company, or to the customer? Before putting it out there go back to listening, monitoring conversations, trends and ideas.
Rule number 1 of Public Relations is know your target audience. In other words the more you know about your ‘customers’ the easier to put yourself in their shoes and then ask, “Would this be interesting to me, useful to me, fun for me?” Customers have always been our bosses, our employers. Online research helps us work out better how to please them and hopefully, with great creative spark and ideas to interpret that information and put that knowledge into action, delight them.