Most people think of marketing as one of those necessary evils and don’t pay much attention to the beauty hiding inside the beast. What’s this you ask? Can marketing be beautiful? More like a fairytale come true? I’d like to pose that yes – it can.
Now granted, my metaphor may be a little bit off, but bear with me. Belle loved the beast and saw his inner goodness despite his rough exterior and through her love he became the prince he was meant to be.
So – how the heck does that relate to your marketing?
Well, first there is the option of treating even the most beastly customers as someone worth expending the effort for and attempting to hear them out, understand their problem as it relates to your product or service and then try to fix it.
Then, of course, there is the whole “Be Our Guest” philosophy that the clocks and candelabras sang about in the Disney version of the story. The household items were actually excited to have guests, happy to be of service, thrilled to be useful. Can you imagine? Does the possibility of your staff being eager to wait on customers sound like a fairytale in and of itself? If so, it might explain a little as to why your customers can be so beastly.
Then there is the rose – that thorny symbol of the very curse that transformed the prince into the beast. The prince had behaved badly and so a curse turned him into the beast – and he was then judged as a monster in the very same way he had judged others. His neighbors feared him and his staff pitied him, he was caught in a trap of his own making. There is a bit of truth to this as it relates to how we run our own business – if we don’t have good relationships with our staff, we often don’t see good relationships with our customers. Soon our office is as lonely as the castle that housed the beast.
Of course, we can’t forget in all of this, like most any fairy tale – the happy ending seems only to come after it has been earned. There is inevitably some sort of trial or test that is a measure of commitment and character. When we start up a business, we may have every desire in the world to bring our product or service to the public. We love it and we want others to love it as much as we do. But too often, we forget that it takes time to foster love and appreciation – especially of something new or unknown. Just like when Belle had to fall in love with the horrible beast, only after her she truly set aside her distaste for his beastly ways and decided to accept him for exactly the beast he was – only then did the beast turn back into the prince he was meant to be. We may feel frustrated at times with our customers lack of interest or seeming indifference to our business, but if we patiently try to foster those relationships with kindness and caring – it can turn the curious person into the customer we’ve only dreamed of.
You see, at the end of the day, marketing is so much more than an ad in the paper or a laundry list of qualities and services. It is as much about showing the customer that you understand, appreciate and care about them as it about slick websites and social media. Sometimes, that’s the fairytale part of this whole business – be you, care about your product and service, share it with others and let the marketing magic happen!
Leah Goold-Haws is the Creative Director/Marketing Strategist for LGH Marketing/Strategy. Leah’s experience has included campaign development and strategy implementation for multi-agency collaboratives, corporations and non-profits as well as entrepreneurs and small business clients. You can now meet with Leah at the Small Business Development Center. The SBDC provides low or no cost business assistance. Schedule an appointment today by calling 242-7630.