Social Media Creates Customer/Brand "Miracle" Partnerships

12/25/2010

On this Xmas morning after the presents are opened, while the goose is roasting (does anyone really make a goose?) and the sugar surge has just begun .. settle back and enjoy a holiday story of a time long ago. It's about a magical shoppe where there was ..

  • "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."

Miracle on 34th streetNo, it's not a new social media customer service strategy. It was an innovative sales program launched in 1947 by Macy's Department Store. In this Miracle On 34th Street Mr. Macy took chance on a different way to conduct business. Customers would not be coerced into buying what they did not want and if another store had a better, less expensive product Macy's would send them there. 

If we listen closely we learn that to succeed in 2010 or 2011 or 2025 or .. or .. or .. is dependent on what we've always known. It's not all about the brand .. it is all about our customer. As with so many lessons, we seem to keep relearning this one.

Fast forward 64 years. The insights from our customers come wrapped in many ways. From customer interactions to traditional research to digital platforms with funny names like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Flickr. 

However, with social media, when we pull off the pretty red bows, we find that the impact reaches far beyond marketing, customer service or sales. This time the entire enterprise is in the game along with our customers. It's a world where to succeed we have to go beyond a one-off sale to creating opportunities for all involved (enterprise & customer) to create the brand experience .. together.

In the world of conversational marketing there is no room for high-pressure sales techniques. Adding a relationship focused social media strategy to your master marketing plan can be a powerful initiative which demonstrates that you place your customers' needs above a one-off sale.

The digital relationships that the people (not departments) who are the heart of your brand can set off a chain reaction.

  • Continuous listening -> leads to continuous learning -> which leads to understanding -> which leads to trust -> which leads to loyalty -> which leads to the cash register bells ringing. And every time a cash register bell rings a marketer gets a bonus or gets to keep her job (!).. oops wrong film. Sorry.

Corner grocery store digital relationships that are build not only with you and your customers, but among your customers, could never have been imagined when Kris Kringle entered Macy's in 1947. However, even as we approach 2011, for many organizations open conversations still seem like a Miracle on (insert organization name here) or like the ghost of Xmas future (oops wrong movie again. Sorry.)

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

As we begin 2011, technology developments spin even faster taking digital business into areas that were impossible in '47 or '57 or even '2010.

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

Imagine a digital destination that allows for product customization the way you want it.

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

Imagine a digital destination where you can talk to a real person who doesn't respond with a scripted answer.

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

Imagine a digital destination where you can include your review of the product, service or customer care that influences your friends' buying decisions.

Imagine a digital destination where you can chat with people about their experiences and learn from each other resulting in making smarter purchases.

Imagine multiple digital destinations that are interwoven where you can accomplish all of these crazy ideas whether you are at your local coffee shop, home, office or at the beach. 

Imagine an organization that works in partnership with its customers and employees to create a brand experience that is relevant and imaginative. 

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 2010 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 same:

-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.

Toby max santa hats And with that Max and I wish you a joy-filled holiday, all things wonderful in 2011 .. and all that jazz!

Sidebar: A Classic Diva Marketing post based on an article written for AMA Marketing News. 

 

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Comments

Restricting opportunities for followers to comment on posts and provide feedback defeats one of the key uses of Social Media – gathering real-time wants, needs & expectations of consumers.

Posted by: Search Engine Company on Jan 21, 2011 6:29:01 AM

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