Live a Day in your Customers Media Mix

An excellent reminder to an old marketing rule, offered by facebooks #2, Kevin Colleran:

Let’s spend a day in your customers media mix and learn to understand what they experience, how they feel, and most of all, how they communicate and interact.
A great reminder to this simple yet highly efficient marketing tool! It will give us the experience, what tools, channels, media we should use and how to do it.

…. I cut the beginning in order to keep the article somewhat short. If you want the full article, click the title … …

Facebook’s New Golden Rule

Kevin Colleran, the social media giant’s No. 2 executive, believes in living a day in his customers’ media mix

By Jeffrey F. Rayport

… In the midst of a useful, if tired, debate about “digital natives” and “digital immigrants,” Kevin offered a compelling suggestion: Try living a day in your customers’ media mix.

For example, if your target customer spends five hours a day on Facebook; sends 120 text messages and half a dozen tweets a day from a smartphone and posts photos, videos, and blogs around the clock; “checks in” regularly using Foursquare at favorite retail locations to become “mayor”; relies on a plethora of mobile apps like Google Maps to get from one place to another, RedLaser to check prices on SKUs at Kroger or Best Buy, and Fashism to crowd-source advice from others while shopping; goes online at RueLaLa and GILT for flash sales just when the boutiques open; and subscribes to Groupon or LivingSocial for alerts on local deals, there’s a good chance you might want to know what it’s like to live a life like that. There’s an equally good chance that (and this was Kevin’s point) knowing what it’s like to live your customers’ media might change the way you use marketing and media to reach, influence, and interact with your customers. It might even change what you do radically.

On its face, this may seem obvious. Sure, most of us target audiences 18-to-34 years of age or, if we’re building fast-fashion or youth brands, we target audiences 14-to-24 years of age. Of course, we know these consumers use media and devices in new ways, be they Millennials or, very soon, members of Gen Z. But do we really have any idea what it’s like to live as they do?

The Golden Rule (“do unto your customers…”) is an old chestnut of the marketing world. Credit card issuer MBNA (now Bank of America) was known in the 1990s for its corporate mantra, “Think of yourself as the customer.” That proved to be an effective guiding principle for a large-scale service organization, wherein boosting customer satisfaction and, in turn, lifetime value was strategically paramount.

A couple of generations of inspirational leaders made the Golden Rule, and its corollary “know thy customer,” a staple of services. In the 1970s and 1980s, Herb Kelleher, founder and CEO of Southwest Airlines, personified it. He would serve drinks and what he called “filet of peanut” on short-haul flights to stay in touch with passengers. In the early 1990s, Scott Cook made every executive spend a day a year fielding customer calls about Quicken and QuickBooks. This year, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, embraced the Rule in his best-selling Delivering Happiness, providing his vision of how to build a company insanely obsessed with service and satisfaction.

Still, most companies don’t operate by the Golden Rule. That fact supplies the lifeblood for shows like CBS’ reality TV series, Undercover Boss. Why are so many CEOs out of touch? The show’s answer is a little glib: CEOs just don’t know the “real” work of their organizations. A more insightful answer is also more subtle: many CEOs have never taken time to learn how it feels to be their own customers. No episode illustrated this better than the Subway executive who confessed that, after 22 years at the company, he had never actually “built” a Subway sandwich. It doesn’t take Tony Hsieh to tell you that guy’s got a problem—and so might the “service” culture at Subway.

But Kevin’s point was not simply a restating of the Golden Rule. His was a new conception of it. It could read: “Interact unto others as they would interact unto you.” Or, to put a finer point on it: “Interact unto others as they would interact with others like themselves.” Marketers who ignore Facebook’s Golden Rule will do so at their peril. You’d better trying living your customers’ lives and experiencing the immersive realities of their media mix. Then, and only then, determine yours.

Provided by Harvard Business Review—Copyright © 2010 Harvard Business School Publishing. All rights reserved. Harvard Business Publishing is an affiliate of Harvard Business School.

An excellent – while ancient – marketing rule, offered by facebooks #2, Kevin Colleran. Let’s spend a day in your customers media mix and learn to understand what they experience, how they feel, and most of all, how they communicate and interact.
A great reminder to this simple yet highly efficient marketing tool!
It will help remind us, what tools, channels, media should be used and how.

Leave a Reply