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Think about it – if one of your friends kept interrupting your conversations with advertising talk, he/she wouldn’t be your friend very long.  That is the reality of social media.   It is the media built by consumers.  They, not programmers, editors or advertisers ultimately control the content of the medium.

Some quick facts:
•    Consumers do want to see companies engaged in social media, but in a dialog format, versus pitches of products
•    Permission marketing is even more critical than email – in social media, readers can respond back to everyone
•    Whether your company chooses to participate or not, your company is likely being talked about by someone in one or more mediums
•    It’s a great way to “road test” concepts, ideas or engage your best customers
•    It’s a great way to put a human face to a company

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Guest Relations Marketing
Transforming Prospects to Guests, and Guests to Zealots

Do you have “customers” for your brand? Most people (hopefully) will answer yes to this question. But a larger question still remains. Do you have “guests” of your brand?

What is the difference you may ask? Let’s take a look at the definitions for both.

A customer can be defined as:

1. a person who purchases goods or services from another.

2. a person one has to deal with.

A guest can be defined as:

1. a person who spends some time at another person’s home.

2. a person who receives hospitality.

3. a person who patronizes.

The verbiage clearly speaks for itself. Certainly we all have (and need) customers of our brand. Those that simply purchase goods or services; they’re in, they’re out.

But do we all have guests of our brand? Those who are patrons of our brands? A guest is welcomed, a guest is known, a guest is invited into your brand.

Simply having your employees think of your “customers” as “guests” could potentially make a huge impact on your service. Communicating to your customers as guests – from the methods & marketing channels you select, to the words you use – could take your relationship to a whole new level, as well as your business.

You will find those “customers” you treat as “guests” are far more likely to be the ones who are Zealots for your brand.  Amazing how a simple change in wording can lead to a complete mindshift for a brand.

Communicating to the customers in your database is important for your brand. Communicating poorly to your database is a brands’ worst nightmare.

Consider taking another look at your database fields and ways in which you can improve and tailor your communications to make the Zealots for your brand feel recognized and appreciated for their continued support and business with you.

Think how effective a little database tweak could be in these situations …

  • Direct mail addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe” when your best customer (Mrs. Doe) isn’t even mentioned by name.
  • “Come check us out” messaging when your best customer is already a frequent guest of your business.
  • Special offer for new customers only, but no offer for your best customer who is your biggest supporter.

Does your database allow you to communicate properly to your best customers, or Zealots, for your brand?

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