Have been doing a little bit of thinking around yesterday’s article.
It occurred to me, that in principle, customer marketing is a mislead approach. Customers don’t need being marketed to. Customer need to be excited about the product or service they are receiving. They need to be happy. They need to be delighted. The product or service should make their lives better.
Think about it. I am a customer, as used in yesterday’s example, of BT. If I was extremely happy with everything these guys did for me, wouldn’t I actually be looking forward to what they will do next? Wouldn’t I say: wow, these guys are doing it again, here is this new thing, and doesn’t it look great?
The whole approach would flip. Instead of them pushing, I would be pulling. Because I love what they do. Think this is nonsense? Ok, let’s use a couple of examples. Take Apple. Apple has great products. Although not all of them hit the sweet-spot (e.g. MacBook Air), many of them do. People love these products. Every time when Apple announces something, their customer (well, maybe not all of them, but enough of them) are eagerly awaiting what they will do next. Not only will they be likely to buy it, but they are also likely to evangelize it to their friends and colleagues. This also true for journalists. They will evangelize it, too. So you get additional free PR on top of it.
So, you think Apple is unique? How about the original Sony PlayStation. People went ballistic over how great that was. When the PlayStation 2 came out, the hype surrounding it was huge. Or take Innocent, the juice company. People love their juices. When Innocent does a little summer festival in London, 100,000s of people will go, just to have some juice (well, and some other stuff). Crazy. Or take Google. Look at all these little free products that they support just so that people like them better and use them all the time. So where do you go to do your search? Microsoft?
So, what all this says to me is: marketing to existing customers has to work through your products. If your products are great, your customer will market them for you and they will be very happy to take a look at everything else you do. BTW, this is one of the very good reasons why it pays to have free products. If people love them, they will consider your paying products, too. If your products don’t make your customers happy, you can throw as much money at people as you like, they still won’t buy from you.