modern consumer is under siege. From the moment we wake up to the
moment our heads hit the pillow, we are bombarded with unsolicited
is served with on-pack promotions, and a barrage of radio and TV
ads. The postman comes with unwanted junk mail. The once
unpartisan taxi or bus to work is branded with a sponsor's
livery. At home or in the office, email inboxes bulge with
unasked for, and often unsavoury, spam. Even our mobile phones
brandish branded text messages.
result: information overload; marketing which fails to connect."
- the introduction from 'You talkin' to me?' by the
Chartered Institute of Marketing.
polite ... ask permission
that we can all relate to this sentiment. Now put yourself in
your customer's shoes and think about how your marketing messages
will get any kind of 'air time' with them in this crowded and
One way is
to be more and more creative in the delivery of your messages.
That can work well for small businesses as well as the big boys, but
it can also work out very expensive to maintain.
better, and cheaper, way is to get permission before you start to
make regular communications to both customers and prospective
customers. That way the person you are communicating with has
already made the conscious decision that your
communication is relevant to their needs and that you are useful
source of information.
made that decision they are far more likely to 'filter in' your
future communications rather than 'filter them out'. But that
doesn't mean that you shouldn't continue to work to make the actual
communication itself interesting, relevant, timely and, where
the customer's request
this approach does open you to one unfortunate situation ... your
target customer may refuse you their permission. And even once
given, permission can be withdrawn
rule here is to respect the customer's wishes. If they really
don't want you to communicate with them, carrying on regardless will
not endear you to them nor reverse their opinion. In
fact, ignoring their express wishes is a good way to lose them as
customers for all time.
important therefore that you maintain a robust record of who has,
and who hasn't, given you permission to contact them with marketing
messages. A CRM database is a good idea, but whatever tool you
use it must be kept up-to-date.
some good news though. Even when a customer has refused you
permission to write, email or phone them with new product or service
information and other marketing messages, you can still communicate
with them ... by providing exemplary service at every sales
opportunity. Make sure that they feel truly valued as a
customer and that they understand that your offer really is
best in class.
they'll come back to you for information when they need it
and will continue to buy from you in the
and working pragmatically like this will help you to make
your marketing work better for you in a more memorable way.
This means that your target customers will be able to differentiate
your products and services from those of your competitors and
clearly see the value in buying from you.
If you would like some advice on memorable
marketing techniques for your own business, or you know someone
at another business who might need help, then please contact us. The sooner you start, the sooner you will benefit.
Talkin' To Me?
Download this handy guide which explains some of
the latest thinking on how to get the best from your marketing
in order to improve business effectiveness.
the Chartered Institute of Marketing as part of their Shape The
Agenda series, this document makes easy reading for business
people of all experience levels.
free service to small businesses in the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire
and Oxfordshire area, the Marketing Effectiveness Assessment
delivers a professional audit of how a business is using the tools
of marketing to communicate to existing and potential customers. It
also includes a series of simple and cost-effective marketing
activities that the business can implement immediately and at low
Download the factsheet now.
Chartered Institute of Marketing
Marketing UK (information portal)