Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Prompted Response Prompts Lies.

When it comes to customer satisfaction evaluation, I've written often of my distrust of prompted recall and my preference for the net promoter score. But I'd never expected to encounter them simultaneously.

Earlier this week I had a ten minute conversation with John Maeda as Part of his Fortune Cookie performance. Before I left the gallery, I was asked if I had heard of the net promoter score and, when I answered yes, was asked to rate my experience

You'll be surprised to read that I tend to grade low, so while I had thoroughly enjoyed the conversation I was going to rate it as an 8. But,under net promoter rules, I know that rating would be discarded as middling and so I found myself rating it a 9. In other words, the prompt had changed my behaviour and my perceived appraisal.

Now this was an art event and the prompt may well have been an innocent conversation-starter or, indeed, part of the event but the bottom line is, if you want
a true reflection of your customers' experience, you have to be utterly agnostic and make no attempt at prompting.

You may think it's going to facilitate the rating, but Heisenberg taught us otherwise.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Words Have No Meaning.

One of the great false assumptions that marketers make is that once you have someone's attention, then you've got them for good. Well I hope most marketers don't think that way, but I can't think of another explanation for this billboard ad I saw at a station today. Just look at all those words.

It starts with a few superfluous humanising sentences about how they used to be bad at explaining things but they're trying much harder now and then goes on to explain how. Thereafter they probably telling me some more of their greatness, but even I (with a blogpost in mind) couldn't be bothered to read further. In fact, I was bored after the first sentence - it was all about them and nothing about what they could do for me.

It's the sort of worthiness that would be ignored in a magazine or newspaper where the next page is crying out for your attention; around a billboard the number of distractions are even greater and yet they want to preach to me - if not in tone, certainly in verbosity.

If you want to transmit information in an ad, then think elevator pitch in a very fast elevator. Know what you want to say and say it quick and clearly. That way you might keep my attention.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Customer Service Insight.

Tonight, amongst other nonsense, I heard a creative director declare that twitter could be a great customer service tool. No it can't. It can be a great customer mood monitor, it can be a great way to field customer complaints, but that's not what we should understand as customer service.

Customer service is what happens throughout your contact with the customer. If you do it right, you shouldn't need to have a Twitter presence because your customers will be happy.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Why Targetting Is The Wrong Marketing Mindset.

In a presentation today, Microsoft's president of online search Dr Qi Lu emphasised the need for their focus to be on user experience rather than driven by data.

But what troubled me was that he kept using the dreaded words consumer and targetting and implied that effective targetting of consumers was the marketer's holy grail. Indeed, he spoke ominously of the creation of "computational behavioural models to predict human intent".

Targetting just oozes all the wrong connotations: the passive customer, the picking off of individuals as they stray into your corporate cross-hairs, not to mention the assumption that you know how all customers behave.

It's too confrontational, too aggressive and too interruptive - even if I search for your product online, it doesn't mean I want you to market to me right now. You don't and cannot know my motivation.

Far better then to use all these technological capabilities of which Dr Lu spoke to be constantly available/accessible, to be where the prospective customer is likely to be and to be listening for their cues.

Reverse the metaphor. Think of your product/service as the customer's target and your marketing as a way of perfecting their aim.