The washer fluid reservoir inside a BMW X3 holds exactly the same volume as the washer fluid jugs sold at most auto parts stores. That’s impressive — Apple-like in its elegance. You smile when you refill your reservoir because you don’t have any fluid left over. It’s filled to the brim, and the motivations you had for buying a high-end, luxury-brand SUV are reinforced. But quietly, in the privacy of your garage, nobody is measuring these moments.
But you, the customer, knows and, more importantly, feels how someone took care to make this detail work. You’re happy.
Make People Happy
Your marketing needs to work like that. It needs to attend to the details that make customers happy. There’s too much choice and too much static. Mass marketing is dead, and so now you must speak to individuals. Those special moments and insights you deliver on is what your customers will share aggressively with their network of friends.
This matters a lot. Good relationships are based on the fact that seeing someone else smile is enough. There is an unwritten rule about how relationships work. You do something nice for me, and I’ll do something nice for you. When that very delicate equation is out of whack, the relationship begins to slip. This happens to brands all the time. They get overly enthusiastic about their product or service and slip into transaction mode. And transaction mode doesn’t make anyone happy. It doesn’t excite anyone.
The new marketing channel is the community of users, customers, loyalists or whatever you want to call them, which you cultivate. You foster and extend that community by seeing to its specific needs. How do you know what those are? By taking a customer-centric approach.
What makes the people who buy my product or service happy? Ask that a lot. Every touch point needs to inform and delight. For example, take your iPhone for a service inquiry to an AT&T store, and then take it to an Apple store. You’ll know what I’m talking about. One is an experience that puts the emphasis on how much stuff can I sell you; the other is an experience that says, how many ways can I make you happy? Which one do you prefer? Which one would you recommend via your social channels, and which one will you feel better about? Finally, which experience makes you happy?
Experiential firms are great at this: They've been mapping the customer experience for decades, so putting themselves in the place of their target audience is second nature. What colors will appeal to a father of three boys? What’s the first thing a mother wants to see when she drops her car off for service? Hint: it’s not donuts in the waiting room.
You want your social media to work, your CRM to have traction and your brand to be loved. How do you get that mighty, swooning, gushing kind of brand love? Make sure your marketing is as good as that washer fluid reservoir in a BMW X3. Make sure it makes people happy.