Friday Fun: How to Make Clients Happy

I normally wouldn’t push Coca-Cola, but this is fun (has a good marketing lesson too).  First, watch the video.

People go for a Coke, and get something a little extra (or a lot extra). You can do this too. Give people something a little extra, like a favicon for their new web site, or send a box of cookies (for no reason). It’s remarkable. It spreads (just like this video).

How to Make Your Business Remarkable

How do you make your product stand out when it’s not unique? Say you have a coffee cart. It’s in a good location, and gets lots of traffic, but you’re no different from any of the thousands of other coffee carts in your area. What do you do?

The answer is to make the stand (and the experience) remarkable – build a tribe.  The key is to differentiate it from all the other stands and all the other coffee places in the area and make it a fun and special place to go and tell  your friends about.

Offer something worth talking about

1) Offer free Wifi – draw customers in, make your stand a place to hang out, stay, and order more coffee.

2) Hold a contest for customers to invent a new blend of coffee.  The winner gets a cash prize or say 10 pounds of the winning entry.

3) Have customers submit quotes (either their own or from famous people) about coffee, or just inspirational, to be printed on the cups.  Have a new quote each week or each month.  Have customers vote on the best ones.  Winners have their quote printed, along with their names.

Build a story around your company

This works for anything, t-shirts, music, dolls, Lego…make the product experience special:  be the company that gives away free t-shirts with every order, or the one with no time limits or scripts for customer service reps.  And, you don’t need a big budget to do it. What can you do with a $500 budget to make your product worth talking about?

(i) by Bonnie Larner

Dell’s Marketing is Broken

Hugh at Gaping Void said, “.. if I randomly asked you to make a list of the world’s top ten most “Creative” companies, would Dell make it on to the list? I’m guessing, for most people reading this, they simply wouldn’t.

Yes. I happen think this is a SERIOUSLY huge problem.”

This got me thinking. Dell’s problem is they have no tribe. They haven’t reached out to their customers, or given people considering a new computer any particular reason to prefer Dell over HP or any other brand.

Apple is famous for its “cult” of enthusiastic, loyal customers, a tribe if you will. One reason is that they provide first-class customer support. Several months ago, the display on my iMac wasn’t working properly (everything had a green tinge). I have Apple Care, and they sent a technician here (twice – because he didn’t have the right part the first time) to fix it. For free!

When a Dell customer has a problem, they’re routed to an outsourced customer “service” rep in India, who has been given poor training, may not speak English well, and is forced to rely on a script. I know of one instance (and could easily get more) in which a Dell rep talked a customer through “fixing” her computer. At the end, she said, “OK, where are my files?” They were gone. She’d just deleted them!

Why not encourage Dell owners to talk to each other? Have a forum to discuss problems, work-arounds, and new updates. Have executives hang out and answer questions.

Post software documentation written in plain English (have you seen Microsoft’s online documentation? It’s unintelligible). Offer special upgrades for higher quality tech support. Or heck, just offer the best tech support. Have it stand out, be so remarkable people talk about it.

Are You Marketing Like McCain or Obama?

And now a few words about the election. This is not about politics, but about marketing. Regardless of who you voted for (or whether you are in the US or elsewhere), there are important marketing lessons to learn from this election.

I noticed during the primaries and the campaign, that Hillary Clinton and John McCain kept talking about themselves. It was a classic marketing mistake. They kept focusing on their years of experience, how they’ve made change, everything they’ve done, rather than the voters. They said things like, “I have experience,” “I know how to fix our economy.” Lots of “I” and “me”, but very little “you” and “we”.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, said “we”: “Yes we can”, we can change, we can hope. He brought people together in a way that the other candidates didn’t. Plus, he made excellent use of his Web site, email, Twitter, and new media tools to keep his followers engaged. He sent (as Seth Godin says) personal, relevant, anticipated messages. No robocalls, no interruptions, just permission marketing. He created a “tribe” of people who were eager to hear from him. And, he sent an email thanking every one of them after the election was over.

So, which kind of campaign are you running? Are you talking about yourself? Or, are you talking about your customers’ problems? Do you give them a reason to talk about you? Are you remarkable or average?

by Ten marketing lessons from the Barack Obama Presidential campaign