Customers as Marketers

Seth Godin has made a career out of challenging the marketers status quo,  influencing a generation of business owners to think out of the box where customers are concerned. He regularly points out the absurdity of conventional behavior, often stimulating a level of discomfort geared to spur alternative action. In How should you treat your best customers?, Godin asks why we give all the discounts and buying perks to gain new customers, when it’s our loyal fans who should be getting special treatment. In fact, Godin ponders, what if we acted like our best customers were our best marketers? How would that change behavior?

I wonder how that might work if we started from the beginning looking for those new customers by treating them with an expectation that they will become a raving fan. What if we acted like they already love us and our products? What would that look like?

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about how you can cultivate customers to become your best marketers...

1.       Acknowledge the new relationship you’ve started... for example, when they become a Facebook fan, say thanks in comments right there for everyone else to see.

2.       Throw in a freebie early on in the buying relationship. A quick Thanks for doing business with us, here’s a free sample pack/cup of coffee/seminar discount/coupon for a free something.   There’s nothing like personalized, special treatment that's not apart of a plan to grow the love.

3.       Send a discount coupon ahead of the pack. Just wanted to give you a heads up on our next special . Thanks for doing business with us.

4.       Create a no- brainer frequent buyer program,  like Panera’s. Present card at time of purchase, points add up, earn free stuff. End of story. The clerk prompts you each time with a end date for the free item, but they give you plenty of time to redeem, so the pressure feels helpful, not pressured.

5.       Be creative – what can you do to make a new customer feel special? Start your list today and do it.