Growing your Business by Getting Personal
In Permission Marketing Seth Godin talks about the downfall of what he calls Interruption Marketing. For the majority of the previous century you could make just about any product successful by spending a lot of money on TV ads. Today, as consumers we're so used to this interruption based advertising we tune it out. How many advertisements do you think you were subjected to yesterday? Probably hundreds, maybe thousands. How many do you remember?
The marketing phenomenon has given rise to the misconception that you have to be a big business with a big advertising budget to be successful. This implicitly suggests that if you're small enough to have a personal relationship with your customer, you'll be unsuccessful. Or, if you're not getting lots of money per customer, it's not worth talking to them. Couldn't be further from the truth.
The reality is that each potential customer is worth much more than the dollar amount you put on your product. By creating a personal relationship and treating them with respect you can not only gain their business, but you create a product evangelist.
More often than not we have customers talk about how their always telling their friends about Doodlekit. Not just because it's fun to use, but because we're always there. It's a good feeling to know there's someone on the other side waiting to answer a question, and much better when you know them by name.
You also get a great resource for feedback. When you talk to customers on a personal level they give you and outside perspective and point out obvious ways to improve your customer experience. People are much more willing to give you honest and helpful feedback if they know who it's going to.
Most importantly it's about creating an honest company that you can be proud to tell Mom about. This honesty will shine through in everything you do creating a aura of trust around your business. That's priceless.
You can already see a resurgence of smaller niche companies that thrive on quality and customer experience. It's a reaction to decades of faceless corporations that will do anything to keep profits up. I hope that this next decade about creating relationships and trading great products as opposed to stock markets and abstract money.
To the Mom and Pops!