Marketing – is a lot about persistence

Customer Delight, Marketing, persistence, service quality

I had written in September about my trip to Jaipur and how the staff at the Radisson hotel over there were so persistence that I comment on TripAdvisor if I found their service good. Not only did they delight my family and me with their service, they also ensured that I recognised their work, so that more people would come to stay in their hotel.

Today I just came back after a two night stay at another leading American Five Star Chain hotel in Gurugram. There’s a reason I am not naming the hotel here. The whole staff was very pleasant and the restaurant staff was extremely helpful and we had an excellent stay. However no one persisted with pushing me to rate them on Trip Advisor. So even though they gave me excellent service, I will not talk about them.

Most human beings are inherently lazy and will not go out of their way to do something, leave alone leave a comment on TripAdvisor. But if you are in the hotel industry and if you have raving fans, then your rooms will always be full. Its an uphill task to always keep delighting your customers, but terrific companies do it.

This is all marketing and I notice when people do something exceptionally well to delight their customer. In most hotels in India, the service levels are very high and we expect even average hotel to deliver high levels of service. In most western countries the service levels in the hotels are just about average, so I don’t actually expect high quality service. But when you come across exceptional service in any part of the world, you want to laud it.

Delivering exceptional service consistently requires a lot of work, but being persistent, that the service also gets applauded is a marketing task and I think the Radisson in Jaipur and especially a few of their staff with whom we dealt with did achieve that.

When you give exceptional service, get the customer to give you a testimonial in some form. A good testimonial is a thousand times more powerful than whatever you talk about yourself.

Till next time then….keep delighting your customers and be persistent in taking testimonials.

Carpe Diem!!!

Follow-ups – how much is good?

B2B, follow-up, Marketing, persistence

One question that I get very often from my team is – “if we send so many follow-up emails, won’t the prospect get offended and unsubscribe”. We deal in B2B customers and therefore the general audience is never large, so they are scared that they may lose one prospect from the small set of prospects.

If your follow-up is – just wanted to check if there’s any update for me – then yes – its irritating and people will get offended and not bother to pick up your calls or unsubscribe from your mails in the future.

But if the mail or call has value then they will look forward to receiving your mails or calls. If on the other hand, if inspite of the fact that you are sending them something of value and they still unsubscribe to your mails or stop taking your calls, then it’s a good sign. They would not have become a good customer for you anyway.

Since our time is extremely valuable, it’s extremely important that we eliminate the people who anyway don’t value our services. You should look forward to delighting people who value your service not to people who don’t value it. That’s a wasted effort.

How do you create value in your communications – you share case studies of how you have helped others. You share challenges, that other customers had, that you helped solve. You could have created some new setups/solutions, found a new way to sanitise the rooms. With B2B prospects, there’s a lot of ways you can create messaging.

If not, you can share industry news that you found, or send them a book. But you have to be persistent in reminding them of your presence because, they shouldn’t miss out on talking to you when they actually have a need.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

P.S: If you are interested in getting a free copy of my 7 point checklist for B2B markets, you can ask for it, by filling in your details below.

Lettuce and Garbage

B2B, Marketing, persistence

The difference between lettuce and garbage is Timing. If the lettuce is used at the right time, its good for health and can be used for layering various foods. On the other hand if you don’t use it when its fresh, it can cause food poisioning.

In case of marketing, timing is a major factor for success. In case of investments , I strongly suggest doing systematic investments so timing becomes irrelevant.

However in case of marketing, if the customer doesn’t think of your name when “her” need arises, then you will lose the sale. That’s the reason why you see the advertisements of Coke, Pepsi etc. all year round.

Even though B2B buyers are not impulsive, the logic still applies. If when the buyer begins to start evaluating a company to replace an incumbent and you are not in front of them, they may not contact you and you could lose a lead.

People have so many things going on in their lives, expecting them to remember you because you sent them some information or called them, about 6 months back, doesn’t work. Obviously you don’t want to bombard them with messages which are only self serving. If you add value to their business and then talk a little bit about yourself then its okay.

Till email was not prevalent, most companies used to send out newsletters, whitepapers or catalogs with detailed usage guidelines on a regular basis. With emails becoming so prevalent, if you send something which is in print form, it will actually stand out. Though with people working from home, this can be a constraint. So use email and print both or whatever other vehicle suits you. The email could be 2 times a week while a newsletter or postcard could be twice a month and maybe a seminar once in a quarter..

Whatever is the combination of methods you choose, ensure that you are persistent with it. Using marketing automation tools, you can actually make a lot of this work in the background. That in itself will also create a brand & trust for you, because of your predictability.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

P.S: If you are interested in getting a free copy of my 7 point checklist for B2B markets, you can ask for it, by filling in your details below.

Persistence is a key aspect in B2B marketing – 3

B2B, Marketing, Marketing Stamina, messaging, segmentation, single target market

I have written in the last two posts about the key importance of persistence in B2B marketing.

Now the advantage of B2B is that you can generally get a database of contacts. So if you have segmented the market well and you have a clearly defined Single Target Market, then you can go and buy it from multiple sources.

What’s important are 2 aspects viz. The age of the database- how old it is and second figuring out if the designation and function is matching.

A lot of times designations can be deceptive in terms of the power equations within the organization.

Generally larger the organization, lower is the level of the people who will be entrusted with the responsibility for doing the research and identifying vendors, creating comparison sheets etc.

So not only do you identify the the key decision makers and send messages, you also need to identify the functional people who could be responsible for doing the evaluation. You will need to influence multiple people.

So your first step would be to verify the accuracy of the database because more than 50% of your success will be determined by the quality of your database. Incidentally this would be true whether you are looking at B2B or consumer markets.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!