One of the areas this blog will be exploring is those companies who have a “customers rock!” attitude. Harley-Davidson is one of them, and they are considered legendary in the areas of customer advocacy and loyalty. In my recent talk at the DM Day for the British Columbia Association of Interactive Marketers on customer experience, I shared that one of the key areas where Harley-Davidson is unique is how they break up their marketing spend. The motorcycle company has diverted 80% of their advertising, PR, and promotions budget to focus on current customers. These budgets are not spent on traditional focus groups and marketing research. Rather, Harley-Davidson management spends time with their customers – at events, rides, and rallies. A great example of this can be found in an interview on Mack Collier’s post for MarketingProfs, where he shares that even the grandson of the founder of the company participates!
We have moved beyond the day when we can only think about our customer demographics and psychographics in order to figure out how to market products or services. A customer’s needs take on many flavors, depending on which “role” they are playing at the moment. I may be a high tech executive by day, a soccer coach on the weekends, and a gamer at night. In other words, the needs and drivers which are motivating me at any given moment may be drastically different from each other! The majority of marketers are not yet set up to understand these customer nuances. They continue to look at customers as “segments” rather than as individuals.
I believe that when companies begin to interact with their customers as individuals, they will begin to acquire the knowledge that will enable them to have a “customers rock!” attitude.
What are the best companies where “customers rock!”? Join in the conversation and let us know!