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Just Because We Have The Ability To Do Something Doesn’t Mean It’s Best Practice

by David Brock on November 5th, 2014

I’ve been writing about customer experience, bad prospecting, and other bad sales and marketing practices for some time.  I continue to be amazed by the ever increasing volume of bad practice—from both the naïve and from those who should know so much better.

Technology enables us to do wonderful things.  In can dramatically increase our productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency.  We can do things faster and in higher volumes than we have ever done before.  We can dramatically reduce the costs and of our content development/delivery, marketing, demand gen, marketing programs.  We can customize everything–though we seldom to.

Technology not only increases the speed, volume, and decreases the costs of many of our programs, it enables us to do things we never could do before.  Analytics provides us insights and understanding about our prospects and customers.  We can measure everything.  We can slice, dice, pivot, and do all sorts of things with data.

Today we can engage and be engaged in ways never before possible.  Connecting and being connected enables outreach to people and organizations we may have never been able to reach or even known about.

Today, we have the opportunity to create and deliver value in very powerful ways.

So we have tremendous capability and potential.  But somehow, we go off the track more often than we leverage the real power technology brings us.

I think it’s because we have the wrong focus.  We focus on ourselves, our goals, our objectives.

We want to reach out to more customers, more frequently, with more differentiated content.

We want to cast a wider net to attract new prospects.

We want to be top of mind so we put something in our customer and prospects’ devices, email boxes, text messages, social sites every day, multiple times a day.

We don’t want to be lost in the ever increasing volume of messages—remember 10’s of thousands of people and organizations are doing the same thing, so to stand out, we have to do more, more outrageously.

The focus is always on us and what we want to achieve.

We forget about our victims—I mean customers and prospects.  We forget about what they want, how they want to be engaged, what type of engagement and content creates value.

We forget to ask “How much is too much?” “What is meaningful and impactful to the customer?”  “Are we connecting in ways that create value or that create crap?”

I don’t need to hear from the same people trying to sell me something, every day.  I don’t need to know about every seminar being held in a distant part of the world, conducted in a language I don’t understand.  Things don’t change in the solutions people offer, that I may need, so frequently that I need to hear from them every week.  I don’t need follow ups of follow ups, or people checking, “Did you see this?”  I’m not so feeble minded, nor are most others that we need constant reminders, promotions, and communications.

We think about ourselves and what we want, not our customers and what they want/need/value.  We forget to ask customers and prospects these questions, so we design based on what we want, not what is meaningful to them.

But there’s good news.  Somehow customers and prospects always get it right.  They know how to turn off.  They probably don’t bother to unsubscribe, they just junk everything you send them an you never know it.  They remember their bad experience with too much irrelevant junk coming at them through all channels so they never consider us as a solution.

Our goals and objectives are important.  What we want/need to accomplish is important.  But just because we have the capability to do things, doesn’t mean it is “right” for our customers and prospects.  Our engagement, communications designs must start with our customers and prospects.  What is impactful, what creates value, what creates the experience they want to have.

It’s interesting, despite the volumes of stuff we inflict on customers and prospects, those that have designed their engagement and communications experience from the point of view of the customer, always stand out, even if the volume of what they do is much lower.

Opt for standing out to your customers and prospects in ways that are meaningful, impactful, and create value for them.  You’d be amazed at the impact it has on the attainment of your own objectives.


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