Don't Burn Your Loyal Customers

Don’t Burn Your Loyal Customers!

It seems to me that the bigger companies get, the more out of touch they are with how to properly treat their customers. And how you treat your customers will stay with them so much longer than your catchy ad, witty tagline, or latest “Everything Must Go” discount sale.

Let me fill you in on what I’m talking about. Earlier this week my subscription to Norton 360 was auto-renewed at $89.99. The price on their website is “save $20 – only $69.99!”

It’s only 20 bucks…

I’m not the kind of person to let something like that slide. You might say, hey it’s only 20 bucks. Not so much. To me it says “let’s count on the apathy of loyal customers, let’s see if we can slide this under the radar – it’s easy money…”

And, get this, I could get Norton 360 from Staples for $44.99 online without even leaving my office!!

So I get online and chat with the Norton call centre. Prathish is very polite, very efficient, and quickly refunds the charge, and cancels my subscription – no problem there.

I then ask how come, $69.99 on the website but not for me? Well, it’s company policy to renew existing customers at full retail!

No attempt at retention, no niceties, no nuthin’.

You bought already, don’t bother me

I see this type of thinking as so many kinds of wrong. To me it says, you bought and now I don’t have to care. Buy my product today, and we’ll worry about selling to you again later when we get there.

How’s that for a marketing message and building the relationship with your customer?

Now on the other hand, I can tell you about Myers Cadillac Chevrolet. These folks know how to treat you right!

This month we upgraded into a new vehicle, but didn’t need to as the previous one was only a couple of years old. What prompted us to do so is that I received a letter from Myers explaining that it might be financially viable and advantageous at this time. We checked out the numbers and options and it absolutely made sense. A no-brainer!

Now we’ve been dealing with Myers and Shawn Fields for 13 years already. Shawn is a low-key, straight-up and no BS kind of guy. The kind of person you can trust.

And we’ve been having our vehicles serviced there exclusively as well for the same reasons. You may think that getting service at a dealership costs more, but actually I find I get so much more value out of bringing my car to Myers.

1. They’re trained on their brands and know my vehicle.

2. They know me by name (It’s kinda like the TV show Cheers).

3. They do the job right the first time. (It’s been my experience, so I have to assume that’s most of the time.)

4. They have a great little restaurant & lounge where I can work.

5. Or they’ll drop me off & pick me up if I choose.

You’re a customer too!

Hmm, there’s a few interesting things going on in what I’ve just written:

1. I felt compelled to tell you about the infuriating (negative) experience first. Just human nature I guess (so I must be human…)

2. The Norton experience is only about $50 to $100 a year, so why even bat an eye at the price.

3. I’ve probably been a Norton customer longer than I’ve been a Myers customer.

4. I realize that you can’t compare the price of anti-virus software to the price of a car, but the margins are probably much higher.

5. Product matters and has to be good, but after you have that covered, service is everything.

6. How much have we spent with Myers over 13 years? I’m sure they are well aware!

7. How you treat your customers speaks volumes and is your number one marketing activity!

Marie Watkins is Chief Instigator at Marketing Strategics, whose corporate mission is to help business owners harness the power of the Internet to achieve greater sales volume, improved profit margins, and an army of raving customers and fans for their business!

To find out how Marketing Strategics can help your business, email, or call 613.691.1221, extension 101.

Apple without Steve Jobs

Apple Without Steve Jobs Is Not Apple

I heard the news today, oh boy…

I’ve never owned Apple products, but there’s no doubt that Steve Jobs’ innovations have changed our daily lives, and influenced the design of other products and technologies in the industry.

I’ve always admired Steve Jobs for being a Master Marketer. He’s a great story teller and that’s how he managed to engage his audience and get his message through to the market much better than his competitors in the same space.

I’m not a follower, but his Commencement Address to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005 is something that bears repeating. And so I will.

Here is the video and an excerpt from the transcript with a link to the full text here.

“My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.”

Marie Watkins is Chief Instigator at Marketing Strategics, whose corporate mission is to help business owners harness the power of the Internet to achieve greater sales volume, improved profit margins, and an army of raving customers and fans for their business!

To find out how Marketing Strategics can help your business, e-mail, or call 613.691.1221, extension 101.

© 2011 Marketing Strategics – All rights reserved

Canadian Internet Marketing Surpasses Print

Stop the Presses! Canadian Internet Ads Hit $2.2 billion in 2010!

Is This Internet Web Thing Going to Take Off?

I actually heard that at ONE BBSCON back in 1992… And the answer is: Yeah, I think so!

Big news today – Canadian Internet Ads Hit $2.2 billion in 2010. This week, the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada announced that revenues from advertising online increased 23% from 2009 to 2010 and passed daily papers, which raised $2.1 billion in ad revenues last year.

TV is still in the top spot, for now, having generated $3.4 billion, but it’s losing traction having only grown at a rate of just 9% from 2009.

Internet Marketing is Key for Local Business

More and more businesses are realizing that they get much better sales results, which they can also track and measure more easily, from online marketing. If your bricks & mortar business is targeting a local market, that makes online marketing even more appealing. And then there’s the newcomer to Internet Marketing which is Mobile.

Taking the Internet Mobile

Mobile Internet Advertising is playing a significant part here. Although still comparatively small at $31.9 million in Canada for 2009, Mobile Internet Marketing grew at a rate of 169% year over year, according to a report published by the IAB in April. And with smartphones proliferating like dandelions in Spring, revenues from mobile ads are expected to hit the $51 million mark for 2010.

Multiple Online Channels

That 2.2 billion figure breaks down like this:
– Search engine advertising: $907 million
– Display ads: $688 million
– Classifieds and Directories: $587 million

Online Video is Hot

Online video ads on YouTube and other video sharing sites, had significant growth, leaping to $37 million from just $20 million in 2009.
However, you can take full advantage of video sites to drive traffic to your business without necessarily buying advertising. Using your videos as part of a strategic Online Marketing campaign can work nicely to bring in new customers.

You can find more of the CBC story here:

Marie Watkins is Chief Instigator at Marketing Strategics, whose corporate mission is to help business owners harness the power of the Internet to achieve greater sales volume, improved profit margins, and an army of raving customers and fans for their business!

To find out how Marketing Strategics can help your business, e-mail, or call 613.691.1221, extension 101.

© 2011 Marketing Strategics -All rights reserved