As long as I remember myself, I was always involved is some sort of exercise or sports activity. Lately, this does not happens too much in an organized manner or with the same zeal (I have employed a fitness/exercise program of my own device, I try to keep up with at least 4 days a week!) but is an activity always active and scheduled! For this reason, occasionally, I need some items that would help me perform my fitness program better (jackets, running shoes, other equipment, etc.)!
The other day, I was in the mall and I would like to replace an old and warned out item. I went to an authorized shop of a very known firm, asking for a very specific item!
A Client Perspective
I’d like to say that even though I’m not expert in athletic physiology & psychology (I know a lot, though!), during the years I have developed a pretty good sense of the items that are good for me and I would like to keep on using them. And, of course, I read a lot!
These two habits make me a strongly opinionated client on the items I want to use in my life (and a marketing problem at the best for many occasions). Therefore, I asked the seller for some specific items of this firm, only to find out that there were not sold in that specific store!
As I have told, one of the items I want to purchase was sold only to some other stores of the same brand, not so far away from the mall I was, and if I would like to see something else!
Off course, I wouldn’t!
One of the main reason I went to the specific store, was for the item it was not sold there and I didn’t like to check something else. I did not care about anything else, I was only interested in the specific item!
It was not too much trouble for me to go to one of the selling location for the item I wanted. But I had already a bad taste in my mouth, about all the incident.
What The Problem Is?
I was very keen for this specific brand and the products it marketed, but now, I wasn’t so sure. I didn’t even know if this is a decision taken from headquarters or it was something attributed to the marketing efforts of the local representative to create an artificial scarcity!
What I know, being for more than 20 years in the business area, is that it is wrong. It is a marketing problem when you try to develop an artificial demand and it is a marketing problem when bad marketing efforts discredit a brand and send away the client!
Actions as such are wrong from a marketing point of view (violate the availability mandate); are wrong from a business point of view (the lack of access makes a poor outcome in the budget); it is wrong from a policy point of view (you can’t expect to keep your clients, when you set artificial obstacles in the purchase of your products); it is wrong from a strategy point of view (you cannot achieve higher sales when you set in place artificial limitations)!
The Marketing Problem
These were practices of the last century, the economic and business history taught us that these practices only marginally were successful and for a short period of time.
This kind of marketing in general, signifies, for me, a total disrespect for its clients!
If you have your distribution chains in place and want to sell your products via them, it is OK. But when you separate your items to items for sales in the “better” stores and to items for everybody else, you set in motion the old human reflex of repulsion due to specific discrimination! You alter your typical consumer behavior, modify the drives bring them to your brand in the first place and you initiate a “troubled” period for your company to say the least.
Most people would reject the idea of going to even further for an item and would prefer to buy an alternative product (preferably from a different brand).
Most people would also feel it as a small victory against an inhuman and apparently indifferent company who doesn’t care too much about its products and its clients.
This happens when you change the rules of the game in the middle of the game, without prior warning! And unconsciously, even a loyal customer would reject all the good quality of the products of the specific brand!
The company who operates in such a way, based on their magnitude or their expand marketing channels, or their competitive prices, would have a lot of marketing problems in the new economic scenery!
Their marketing efforts are based on constant pressure, main trend patterns for affiliation sales, large quantities of sales to generalized client personas, artificial barriers for keeping products and prizes up and de facto monopolies, neglecting a lot, much more profitable, small segments of the market!
This is wrong, because sometimes, small segments of the market can make a huge difference in the financial quarters as the current economy has proved too many times over and over again!
There is a message here! It is this one. You cannot neglect your clients or discriminate them or employ policies that would drive them to different directions. You cannot also move your marketing problems to your clients.
You just need to pay attention, listen and keep focused to your clients. Because they never would be very more than a click away from an Internet buying from a brand which keeps up with its clients.
Question: What are your marketing efforts? Where your marketing is focused? What would you do, to satisfy client’s needs? You can leave your comments, here!