Marketing is defined as “the process of transferring goods and services from the producer to the consumer”. I share that definition often because it’s way to easy to get “tunnel vision” when it comes to marketing your business. It’s WAY too easy to think of marketing as beginning and ending with the ads which appear on radio, television, in the newspaper or even online.
Marketing your business is MUCH more than that!!
Rohit Bhargava illustrates this point brilliantly in his post Forget Eating Your Own Dog Food – Just Try Buying It …
Eating your own dog food (ie – experiencing your own product) isn’t enough. You need to experience the entire process around buying it to really understand your customers. That means you need to shop around. You need to go into a retail store to try and purchase, or buy it online and see how long it takes to arrive. What did the box it came in look like? What was the condition of it? Did you get any follow up from anyone after you bought it.
Marketing is the PROCESS from start to finish. It begins with the “first impression” made upon consumers… whether that’s your packaging or an advertisement. That first impression sets the stage LITERALLY for the entire marketing process which follows.
Set those expectations high and then fail to deliver – and disaster awaits. That’s what happened when Blogger Dad was introduced to “The World’s Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookie.”
Ever since I placed the order last week, I have been salivating as I imagined what The World’s Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookie would taste like. As you might discern from my belly, I’m no stranger to cookies. You might even say I’m a cookie lover, if not a cookie monster, as no cookie is safe in my house longer than 24 hours.
However, the bar was set too high – and as a result, when the package arrived – the blogger was disappointed. He had to “pay” for his “free” sample and the – at that point – unnamed cookie company had a great look at what it is like to BE their customer, awaiting your first contact with the company that bills themselves as making the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie.
Remember, there’s a lot at stake here with the free sample. Not only is this a potential customer – who will purchase cookies from you in the future, this is also a possible product ambassador – who will send these cookies as gifts to friends and family.
However, the cookie company had no way of knowing that this customer was also a blogger – a blogger with a following. Bloggers are known for reviewing products they love – and hate – so now the marketing stakes are astronimically high!
The cookie company tried to recover. The company’s owner sent a “mea culpa” package to placate the blogger’s disdain. She explained – but she made a HUGE social media faux paus which the blogger shares in his follow up post, Letter to a Sarcastic Blogger from a Cookie Company.
Thank you for the box of cookies. It is most appreciated. I also appreciate your letter informing me of the thought that goes into your business and the importance of customer feedback. Your letter made lots of good points up until the last paragraph.
The line, “it would have been nice of you to come to me directly, instead of posting your unhappiness to the world.” Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with this blog, but that is kind of what I do around here, I sometimes post my unhappiness to the world. It’s cathartic and people relate.
It’s not just HIS blog where he shares his happiness and unhappiness with the world – there are over 112 BILLION blogs being indexed by Technorati doing the same. Maybe when it comes to the internet, this new “social media marketing” thing ought to come with a social media warning label.
Great marketing can bring customers to your business – THE FIRST TIME! Great packaging can get them to pick up and buy the product in the store. Great advertising can get them to come in the first time. However, from then on – it’s up to you to follow through and deliver upon the promises you made in the course of your marketing communications.