A while ago I wrote about what I call the Magic Marketing Formula. It’s a way to organize how we think about and plan our marketing.
As a recap, here it is:
(T * E * M) = A
T = time
E = experience of your customer as they interact with your company
M = marketing activities that deliver the right message to the right people
(All variables must be above zero.)
A = awareness of your business.
So, to increase awareness of your company or product, you need to increase time, or customer experience or your marketing activities. Or you can increase any combination of the three.
You can see, if you improve your customer’s experience at the same time you increase marketing activities, your awareness level can jump dramatically. This is good because a foundation of Smart Marketing is to provide great service (I call it Remarkable Service).
In fact, your customer service objective should be to serve your clients so well they come back and they tell others about you. Do this and the rest of your marketing becomes much more effective. The Magic Marketing Formula shows us why.
But there’s a risk.
The same forces that can boost your marketing through positive customer experience can just as easily trash your marketing if your customers have a lousy experience. Remember, people talk about the bad stuff just as much, if not more, than the good stuff.
People talk about what they remember. They remember what stands out in their memory. Experiences tied to an emotion are more likely to stand out in our memories. So, any experience you deliver that is tied to an emotion is more likely to get air time as your customers talk to their friends, family, co-workers, etc.
If doing business with your company is frustrating, irritating, annoying or even maddening, that experience will be tied to a negative emotion. And it will be remembered more easily than an experience they expect. If they get what they expect, it’s not memorable.
Some people think they can advertise or sell their way past a bad customer experience. They think the “M” in the Magic Marketing Formula can overcome the “E”.
The “E” is stronger. It’s stronger because it’s based on reality. It’s a function of how your company is treating people. The “E” is the real world. It’s the sum total of all the experiences all your customers (or prospects) have had with your company.
The “E” is the truth. And it’s embedded in a lot of people. It’s a part of everyone who has ever had contact with your company.
The “M” is simply what you say to the world about your company. It’s the message you want people to hear. I’m not saying it’s the not the truth. It should be. But it’s your version of reality. It’s how you see things.
The bottom line is, what our customers think matters more than what we think. We don’t always like to hear this but it’s true. They get the only vote, as Fred Pryor likes to say.