‘Dear Sir/Madam’ emails.

Cartoon by Geoff Stevenson
Cartoon by Geoff Stevenson

‘Dear Sir/Madam, nothing about your product is mind-numbing but your advertising comes close.’

Get a note like this and the best response is to reward the writer in a grand way.

Send them your sincere thanks and a value coupon.

Because it’s a prompt to get your messaging in step with user experience.

It’s an opportunity to realize that whatever your product or service may be, you’re also in the boredom alleviation business. We all are.

So start by avoiding the big-brag approach — one-way messaging — and erase drabness with imaginative, impactful stories.

No doubt you already live and breathe this, but here goes anyway.

A boardroom view doesn’t always double as a road map for strategy and content.

In fact, what a CEO believes his/her brand to be and what customers think can be different.

We met a marketer yesterday who had a telling story on the subject.

She started a new job and spent the first week in orientation. Shaking hands at the C-level and seeing powerpoints because as she was told, the sales force could always wait.

Of course, the sales people see customers daily. They’re the eyes and ears of the company.

Their take is often key in helping to connect with customers and build immunity against the competition.

On Friday afternoon she acted and took home a print out of emails from customers.

Many revealed problems and opportunities the current strategy didn’t cover. What boardroom logic dictated wasn’t always the case and there was little emotion in the company’s messaging.

More’s the pity, because people buy with a healthy dose of emotion from those who display an understanding of their problems.

As you’ve probably guessed, her next move was two-fold. Research and testing.

After all, a better knowledge of customers, lapsed customers, the competitions’ customers, prospects and the category is commonsense.

As is testing.

What’s happened to testing in the digital age?

As a sidebar to the last, there are the Steve Jobs stories that circulate online.

He would answer customer emails and even calls from time to time.

A frontline approach to gather intelligence. A great way to find out what people think as it gives you the opportunity to make a customer for life.

‘Ring-ring … hello, this is Steve from Apple, how can I help?’

Imagine the ‘Dear Steve’ thank-you emails after it was revealed he was The Steve.

As the marketer mentioned above will tell you, start from the customer’s point of view and develop messaging from there.

Without that, as they say, you’ve got all the potential of a blind roofer.

Has customer response changed your approach to the market? Tell us how.






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