Building The Line

It was turning out to be a great year. The product I had planned and launched was hitting the market to fantastic results and the sales team was close to doubling their forecasts. Additionally, the market research that I had spearheaded had resulted in the success of two more products in our portfolio.

I thought all was going swimmingly well but that was not the case. Bonus checks arrived and despite my shaking the envelope as hard as I could, there was nothing extra to make up for the extremely light check.

While my team’s part of the portfolio had performed above average, the company had missed their financial goals for the year. There is no extra credit for almost being successful.

John Moore recently posted a summary that perfectly describes the biggest mistake our business had been making,

Too many marketers are living for The DOT and not The LINE.

The DOT being a “One Day Big Bang” approach to getting people talking. The LINE being an “All Day Every Day” way to becoming a talkable brand….As marketers, it’s our responsibility to give consumers reasons to talk about brands, products, and services not just for one day… but rather, for a series of days.

Our company had become too focused on one-off tactics to get the market interested in our products while the overall portfolio was not that interesting. The idea that you could have a “halo” product to generate buzz did not make up for the blandness of the rest of the portfolio. Overall, our products were not meeting customer expectations and the results were clear in our market share and financial performance.

If your product/brand/company is to be successful, it must evolve and as John put it, deliver over a period of time. Building products that people love is a great place to start but if you don’t do your part to maintain the relationship over time, don’t be surprised when your customers walk out the door. Building the line means keeping your product relevant and making sure you are delivering on a complete customer experience for the long haul.

Build the line and your customers will follow.

Image Credit: jypsygen

Did You Know That 70% OF Consumers Have Used Social Media To Get Info About A Product?

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Media Post recently reported on a  DEI Worldwide study on Word-of-mouth marketing.

The study showed that 67% of consumers are likely to pass along information from an actual (“real live”) brand representative to other people, and 57% are likely to take action based on that information

Consumers don’t put much trust in corporate blogs or social network profiles, but will readily listen to people–even if they are employed by the company selling the product–provided that they are open about their mission and relationship to the company.

This is a very interesting stat for social media and could lead you to jump to some immediate conclusions.  However, if you really want WOM marketing to work you need a complete story (see Made to Stick)

The Brand Experience Lab has a really good post on the subject and sums it up perfectly here:

WOM is not a tactic or strategy by itself. It is the outcome of doing something really well.

Bottom line, it all comes back to your companies brand and product strategy.  If you create something that has an authentic story behind it, people will love talking about it.