A Timeless Truth – Listen and Learn   Leave a comment

Last week we talked about An Inconvenient Truth of marketing, Know Thyself – who you are and what you stand for. This week — a Timeless Truth that has nothing to do with the coolest new marketing idea. And everything to do with getting back to basics.

I had one of those “Aha moments” a few weeks ago when I attended a social media seminar at the swanky offices of a digital agency with high end décor and an incredibly breathtaking view of the ballpark. I went to learn new ways to engage consumers with the latest digital tools and techniques. During that hour, experts talked about ROI, social CRM and on-line clout. What stuck me most though was their common theme — an ageless fundamental.

To be successful, companies need to create connections. Build trust. And engage the customer to inspire their loyalty. You do this by listening and learning. Fostering two way conversations that matter. The tools – be they social media, direct mail, email marketing, mobile — are relevant only in that they allow that process to take place and that they best fit your target market.

Think for a moment about how your organization cultivates loyalty and generates business. Are you focused on telling and selling or are you in a meaningful dialogue that resonates with your customers? This requires asking their opinion, understanding their needs and making adjustments along the way. It also requires vision, commitment and work.

As a consumer, I don’t just want to have it my way at Burger King; I want to have it my way wherever and whenever possible. Not because I’m some high maintenance prima donna (and so what if I am?). But because I’m a busy working mom of three and if you know me and take care of me, I will love you for life.

One of the companies I love is Amazon. And not just because I love buying books. The last time I logged onto Amazon.com, I got a pop up of recommendations based on recent purchases or searches. Gee, thanks guys for knowing what I like and serving it up. Even if it is computer generated, you are saving for me that most precious of commodities – time. Bless you.

So when you think of loyalty marketing, think of this Timeless Truth that relationships do matter and that consumers will care more if we stick to the basics.

I read a quote recently by Irish critic, journalist and novelist Rebecca West that I think sums it all up:

“There was a definite process by which one made people into friends, and it involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time.”
        Rebecca West
        Irish critic, journalist, & novelist (1892 – 1983)

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