Moe and Martha Pease discuss how to own the future by focusing 100% of your company on customers and consumers at all times.
The One Universal Marketing Solution
Despite having been a customer of theirs for a decade, I received an inadvertent promotional letter earlier this week from Time Warner cable offering me the exact service package I currently have for less than 50% of my existing cost. I didn’t give it much thought until two days later I received another letter from them informing me that my “promotional rate is expiring, but (my) savings will continue.” This time I took notice because there was no saving, rather an actual 17% increase over my existing rate. Their explanation was atypical: “We are pleased to offer you a preferred rate on your services.” Further, the letter goes on to state that “the rates listed above may differ slightly from the amounts listed on your billing statement, due to our annual rate adjustments, which were communicated to you separately.”
Delaying the agony of robotic answering services and service reps with little to no control over pricing procedures, I finally called over the weekend and asked to speak to a supervisor who can answer a few questions regarding my existing service plan. Deliberately calm, I asked him a simple question “do you treat existing customers any differently than you do new customers?” Very courteously, he responded, “no sir, we treat everyone equally.” I then explained the scenario that I had just experienced, and after a brief hesitation, he reminded me that ‘service plans are always subject to change,’ and if he could ask me a few questions about how I use our service, he ‘could offer some other options.’ In the end, his only recommendation was to reduce our service package; and still the rate would be higher than our existing package. Needless to say, Time Warner lost a decade old customer.
As our call ended, I wondered how Martha R. Pease would have handled it, because for the past three decades, she has been immersing her Fortune 100 clients to understand a single message. The key to propelling a business to its full potential and highest heights isn’t balance sheet engineering, acquisition acumen, organic reinvention, adroit board management, or stunning quarterly earnings results. Rather, it’s empathy. Her latest book, Think Round: How To Own The Future By Focusing 100% of Your Company on Customers & Consumers 100% of The Time, asks you the type of pointed questions that would make impossible to ignore the customer’s point of view.
Here’s what we discuss:
Modern marketing in a headline
The evolution of a brand in the digital era
The transition from thinking about the customer to serving the customer
How admired brands position their offering
Communicating your value proposition
Why marketing is too important to delegate
- The key to becoming an outrageous demand creation engine