No this is not a follow up to our previous blog about someone plagiarizing our material. It is our initial thoughts on a recent HubSpot Inbound Marketing Workshop we attended.
The Customer Manifesto
We (the Children of the Social Media Revolution) are no longer passive recipients of brand messages. We do not want you to ‘spread your content as widely as possible’ (as advised during the workshop). This will simply add to the volume of marketing noise that is already beginning to deafen us.
We are not sales suspects, prospects or leads. We do not wish to be driven to your web site. We will decide what information we wish to access, when and where. We are all happy with our religious beliefs, or none. Please do not try to convert us.
We do not wish to be put at the top of your sales funnel with the ‘flood’ of other suspects (your words); analysed to decide if we ‘fit’ your criteria as a prospect; then targeted. The next step to targeting someone is to shoot them and that would make us a little bit nervous dealing with your company in case we complained.
We base our purchasing decisions on recommendations made by our trusted online network of friends/business associates. We no longer listen to or trust brand messages so stop talking AT us, telling us how good you are. We don’t care! Talk with us instead.
Please stop trying to spread ‘your word’ as widely as possible. It would not be in your interest to interrupt our conversations with sales messages. As Michael Stelzner (founder of Social Media Examiner) would say, ‘social and selling just don’t mix’. Please never underestimate or try to abuse the power of our networks.Instead of trying to ‘spread your content as widely as possible’, what you should be doing is to use social media to deliver exceptional customer experiences at all stages of our journey with your company, including after sales service. That way you might just differentiate yourself from the noise, keep our loyalty and build an ongoing relationship. By doing so, we will buy more and you will maximise the life-time value of having a relationship with us; while at the same time erecting barriers that will stop us running to your competitors.
You see, we are not stupid people. We understand these things. We know that the longer you can keep us, the more profitable we become to your company. That gives us even more power. All we ask is that you treat us as people, spend more of your time and resource looking after us. Emotionally connect with us. Danny Brown’s ‘proud, stubborn Granda’ frae Edinburgh understood that and he wasn’t even a child of the social media revolution.
Don’t try to become ‘mini publishers’ as advised during the workshop. That will divert too much of your attention and resource away from doing what you should be doing – keeping us happy, very happy.
Build your organisation around us, your customers – especially your ‘Most Valuable’ and ‘Most Growable’ customers. After all, 20% of us generate 80% of your profits. You don’t want to lose us; so why spend so much time ‘spreading the word’, ‘flooding your sales funnel’ with low value, low growth potential customers that add little profit?
Provide us with an exceptional customer experience, especially at key ‘Moments of Truth’. That way you will emotionally connect with us, we will stay with you and become unpaid brand advocates of your company. We will spread your brand message for you around our own networks. They will listen and believe us more than they do you.Please try to become an ‘Outside In’ (truly customer led company) rather than an Inbound Marketing company. The more time you spend ‘spreading the message’ the less time you are spending with us. Stop trying to drive us like a flock of passive sheep to your web site or blog. As Grandpa Brown’s grandson would say, we are likely to tell you to flock off.
Just to prove that we really are very intelligent people, we read books too. The fundamental problem with Inbound Marketing is that the core underlying premise is wrong. The first sentence of the book handed out as a workshop freebie states that ‘the fundamental task of marketers is to spread the word about their products and services in order to get people to buy them’. That might have been true 50 years ago but we are the Children of the Revolution.
In a social media era where we have the power, the fundamental task of marketers is to leverage the full potential of social media for delivering exceptional customer experiences, building sustained, long-term customer relationships, especially with high value, high growth potential customers.
Please create beautiful music rather than more noise.
As usual, comment and feedback more than welcome.
We, the Children of the Revolution