Lessons From Christmas 1947

12/25/2007

Christmas 1947. Before blogs, micro blogging or building online communities.

The CEO of a major retail organization briefs the company's ad department. "No high pressuring and forcing the customer to take something he doesn't want. We'll be known as the helpful store. The friendly store. The store with a heart. The store that places public service ahead of profit. The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before."

With those words Macy's Department Store launched the most innovative sales program ever viewed...on the silver screen. It was a Miracle on 34th StreetMiracle_on_34th_street

Fast forward 57 years. The use of the internet is one of the most exciting sales and marketing strategies we've seen in the last 60 years. However, in this model there is no room for high-pressure sales techniques. The customer is in control of the brand experience.

Include a social media strategy to the marketing mix and another dimension is added. The company steps out from behind the shadows of traditional PR, customer service and research (all valid in their own right) and declares it's ready to listen and learn from prospects and customers...on the their terms.

It's not afraid (okay perhaps there are a few wobbles) to show the world that there might be a few warts. That's a giant step from old world marketing to open communication new world marketing.

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible... consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

As the year 2008 approaches, high-tech developments spin even faster taking the possibilities of internet marketing into areas that were impossible in '47 or '57 or even '07.

Imagine a site that holds current inventory and pricing, allows for on-line financing and results in better, faster cheaper processing.

Imagine a site that allows for product customization.

Imagine a site where you can start a conversation with a real person about what matters to you regarding a product or service.

Imagine a site where you can talk to a real person who doesn't respond with an FAQ list.

Imagine a site where you can actually help change the direction of a product or service before it's even launched.

Imagine a site where you can include your review of the product, service or customer care.

Imagine a site where you can talk to people about their experiences and learn from each other.

Imagine a company that doesn't close the door (or comment section) to you or your ideas.

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

It's interesting to compare a 1940's film, where finding solutions to customers' problems was perceived as unique, to 2007 where finding solutions to customers' problems is considered ingenious.

The techniques may have changed. New buzz words may be added to the mix. Bells and whistles may be a little louder. However, after all is said and done, the premise remains the the:

-Listen

-Understand

-Add value

-Do what it takes to go the extra mile to delight your customer

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

Max_dec_07_1 And with that Max and I wish you a very merry holiday!

Sidebar: Based on an article written for Marketing News

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Comments

Hi Toby, This is a great story. Actually one from before I was born....becoming less frequent. The image of Max is precious. Congratulations on the continued success of your business & blog. You continue to be an inspiration to me and many more who seek innovative ways to market.

Posted by: Donna Lynes-Miller on Dec 28, 2007 7:05:45 AM

Donna - thank you for your kind words but the truth be known .. YOU and those marketers who are taking a leap into unchartered social media waters are my inspiration!

Posted by: Toby on Dec 28, 2007 2:29:46 PM

Yup.. Im agree with you... Marketing evolve very quickly by the use of the internet... Internet improves the marketing strategies too...

Posted by: eOneNet.com on Dec 28, 2007 9:43:53 PM

Really like this post! Thanks mate!
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Posted by: Andro on Dec 30, 2007 9:16:39 AM

Macy's Movie was the best marketing ever Done!

Posted by: mrcarman on Jan 2, 2008 1:59:09 AM

Macy had a unbeatable combination
1. great story
2. clean story
3. heartfelt story
4. hidden praise for Macy's as real company that cares

A great lesson for Hollywood and Wall Street TODAY!

Posted by: mrcarman on Jan 2, 2008 2:02:44 AM

Nice Westie!

Posted by: Daniel on Jan 18, 2008 12:52:30 PM

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