The Smarter Approach To Marketing

Just saw a news story on Ad Age. It is titled “Will Retailers or Consumers Come Out on Top on Black Friday?” The story references how Sears, Kmart and other retailers have begun holiday sales ahead of time as shoppers start early, searching for deals. According to Ad Age, Black Friday 2009 has become a massive game of chicken among retailers and consumers, as the closely watched post-Thanksgiving sales data will largely decide which succeeds at outsmarting the other.

Is this the right attitude?

As marketers, are we really trying to outsmart our customers?

If we are customer-centric, we would not be trying to one-up each other, but would focus our efforts on helping our customers solve their needs with relevant and differentiated offers.

As I defined in one of my earlier posts, providing value to customers by fulfilling their specific needs (relevance), recognizing their unique contribution to the business (recognition) and rewarding them with specific offers (reward) will create a win-win proposition. I defined the equation as 2RL + 2RC + RW = CL.

By doing this, the customer gets what they need from the brand and the brand gets the transactions that add strength to the business while building value in the relationship.

It is not about being smarter than them. It is about serving them well.

A simple idea. One that works

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Categories: brand strategy, consumer behavior, crm, database, loyalty, marketing, measurable, retail

Tags: , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. Zain,

    Your win-win approach is, of course, the ideal framework for a healthy, and long-lasting customer relationship. Alas, I feel that many of these commercial relationships are more like the “out-smarting” contest that you reference at the start of your note.

    Reminds me of a recent Dilbert cartoon, at the end of which a “clever” sales person proudly exclaims “well, it’s not really “selling” if we both win”.

    check out cartoon at…. http://www.dilbert.com/2009-12-01/

    It will be interesting to see whether the newly empowered customers, armed with comparative data, online coupons, and mobile-device enabled price searching, will come to feel much better about their buying experiences this year. Maybe they will feel like the “winners, this time around??

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