This isn’t a blog about politics but one about the voice of your customer, and they are being drowned out by the minority voices. My degree is in marketing and much of my corporate career was spent in marketing. As I watch knee-jerk reactions of major corporations, I am dumb founded. Truly, I do not understand why businesses would cater to the fringes at the expense of their target customer.
The culprit is social media, and it is being driven by a generation who is not loyal to brands whatsoever. Hey, to each his own, but the very people who attack certain products or celebrity endorsements over social platforms are NOT those who buy your product in most cases. Instead of filtering it through logic and reason, it seems marketing departments are making emotionally-charged decisions that are hurting their business. Reactions are never strategic. Companies need to step back, get in tune with their core customer and devise responses.
Since the invention of the Internet (websites) and then social media, I have continued to say that these are just channels…one piece of the marketing puzzle. They are not the end all be all. Marketing rules still apply, and it is all about impressions. However, all impressions are not created equal.
Back in the day, we had to actually go to the customer. We didn’t waste our time surveying those who did not purchase our product or those who didn’t have the funds. We concentrated efforts on our target market – the ones with the inclination and money to buy. Social media can have its place within niche products and services, but for larger corporations, it can be a disastrous mess.
I see too many brands catering to the younger generation when they are not their customers. They are offending, insulting and turning their backs on the very people who were their customers…who helped build your brand. I use the past-term verb because customers will not stand for it much longer. People will only be as loyal as your message to them. If you basically say you don’t care about them, they will spend their money elsewhere. They aren’t going to tell you about it, though. They will simply use their feet and walk away.
A shift is occurring that is causing loyal brand followers to bail, and the fault lies with the companies themselves. They have pushed their core customer away, and they won’t come back easily. Customers have too many options these days, and they will move on. Have businesses forgotten that it takes ten-times the amount of money to gain a new customer than it does to keep one? Apparently.
I encourage CEOs, Vice Presidents and Directors to get more involved with marketing to the degree that they understand who really purchases their product. Social media data is skewed and is often unreliable. Drill your marketing team on VOC and get a clear picture of who your target customer is and how you can best reach them. And for heaven’s sake, don’t alienate any customer just to appease another.
Consider me a Phantom Shopper for your products and services to gain crystal clear information on what is happening to your customers and why. What you don’t know will hurt you! Give me a call so we can get started.
In the meantime, you can begin to understand who makes up your customer base by learning about the four distinct human behavior styles I identify in my book, Leveraging Your Communication Style.