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Arrogant Marketing

How Not to “Be the Client”

Over the last couple of months I had two interactions with marketers that left me uncomfortable and a little annoyed. But I didn’t articulate anything until reading Lisa’s previous post here about “Being the Client,” which got me thinking about how these two marketers definitely did not consider being me (the client).

The two interactions were almost identical. In both cases I received a communication through the mail from a company. The first was the car company who made the automobile I just bought and the second was from my mobile phone carrier. Both sent me something that started with one big, bold word:

One congratulated me for buying their new car and the other congratulated me because they designated me a VIP customer. My reaction to both was the same, “Why are you congratulating me? You should be thanking me for buying your product or service (and I congratulating you on being selected).” In fact, I was being more than nit-picky over their choices of a word—I was annoyed at their arrogant perceptions of our relative positions in the business transactions. They might have thought that they were providing good customer service, but they failed because they didn’t put themselves in my shoes before formulating their marketing messages.

Such a simple concept—“Be the Client”—but such a powerful foundation for any marketer. That’s one of the reasons why Domus has been so successful with its clients. Domus account managers never lose sight of their clients’ perspectives. And they make sure that their clients never lose sight of their customers’ perspectives.

As an addendum, here’s a follow-up to this blog: Arrogant Marketing, Part 2.

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