There are two sides to this battle.
On one side, besieged customers under an onslaught of emails, social media, text messages, and video ads.
On the other side, marketers and executives in corporate high-towers crafting ever more insidious ways to get our message to infect the populous below.
The Man in the Middle
In this world of Customer versus Marketer, David versus Goliath, I, like many of you, teeter on the razor-thin edge between consumer and company. Like you, I allow myself weak moments of failure where I sign up for the newsletter, I “Like” the company Facebook page, and I text to win a contest at a conference.
And also like you, I myself am a Marketer. I sit in that glass enclave figuring out new ways of getting more information from my customer. I’m figuring out ways to get you to text to win, or “Like,” or give your email up for a newsletter in return.
How do we balance the responsibility of creating value at our companies with the responsibility to create valued customers?
Responsibility to Company.
As Marketers, we have a responsibility to our job and to our company. We are there to build awareness, push product, qualify leads, generate leads. Our tools, our marketing automation, our SMS platforms, our social listening, we use these tools to accomplish our given goals and to create value within our companies and our industries.
Responsibility to Community.
As members in our community (local, region, world), we have the responsibility to create a better world, to leave the world in a better place than when we came into the world. While esoteric for marketing, this idea of betterment is important to keeping customers pleased, instead of nonplussed.
How do we please our customers instead of annoying them?
The impetus for this post came from my daily use of the awesome email spam service Unroll.me. This one service reduced my daily influx of sales newsletters by about 150% (completely made up stat – but it’s been a lot.) Unroll.me got me thinking, “There are so many services like this, why do they exist in the first place?”
They exist because we as Marketers are not doing our jobs. Our real job. Yes, we have goals to increase the bottom line of our respective companies. But we cannot do that if we do not value our Customers.
Unroll.me exists because we, Marketers, are failing. Ad blockers exist because we, Marketers, are failing.
While overly simplistic, I wholly believe this to be true.
How do we stop failing the Customer?
I believe that we stop failing our customer when we start seeing the world through their eyes.
As marketers, we have a responsibility to our companies, but we also need to respect our customers. As marketers, we tend to see the world and our customers through the eyes of “marketing,” instead of through the eyes of the customer.
What value do we bring to our customer with our marketing? That is the question we should be asking ourselves. Not asking how we can fit another feature or tech spec on the website or flyer.
I believe that we should be true. And if we do that, if we be true to ourselves, our company, our customers, then we truly can help make the world a better place through marketing.
Be true. Be true to your company. Be true to your customers. Be true.