Marketing 2.0: It Feels So Good
There’s an expression: it’s like hitting your head with a hammer because it feels so good when you stop. For years we’ve been bashing our customers over the head with marketing which, I guess, is why Marketing 2.0 feels so good.
The cost of health care has been a large and public issues for some time now. The President, industry leaders, and representatives are all looking for ways to make health care affordable. The people at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, however, think they might have at least part of the answer, and it’s deceptively simple. In fact, it’s just two words: "I’m Sorry". They’ve taken the traditional "deny and defend" liability limiting approach and made it "investigate and disclose". And it’s working. Since 2002 they’ve been able to decrease their malpractice insurance cash reserves from over $70 million to just $13 million. And doctors like it too. They’re people, they make mistakes, and closure helps them move on after all, if you require a patient get’s a lawyer, then you’d better bet you’ll be dealing with lawyers, not people.
I’ve had a DVR for several years now. So, when I watch TV, I allocate about 15 minutes per hour of show before starting. This helps me avoid annoying commercial interruptions. Much of the time I’ll just watch my shows the next day. Lately, however, I’ve been catching a few new shows on hulu.com. Hulu has an interesting model. For many of their shows you can either watch one long commercial at the beginning and then view the rest commercial-free, or you can watch it normally except the commercials are only 30 or 60 seconds long. Using hulu I’ve noticed something interesting. I’m watching the commercials. Why? Because it’s almost not worth avoiding them. Once commercial, 30-60 seconds, and then we’re back. Not enough time to get up and make a snack. Not worth figuring out how to skip. So I watch them.
Now, more then ever, the customer is always right. They have preference, the desire to act on it, and the power to make it happen. They have opinions which matter, and the tools to spread them. Viral marketing, social networking, twitter, virtual worlds, youtube, widgets, communities, blogs, comments & feedback, podcasts, and product & price comparisons are just a few of the nearly infinite channels of communication which amplify their voice. Serve them well, form a lasting relationship, and they may champion you. Leave the door open for other, better, more convenient options and they will find them.
New Marketing is not just about the media, it’s about forming a relationship and offering better products & services. It’s about resecting the consumer and communicating directly. It’s about understanding the value of convenience and interruption in an era of finite time and infinite information at our fingertips. In today’s marketplace we don’t hit consumers over the head with our products and services, we facilitate the purchase, because it feels so good when we do.