Thursday, June 30, 2011
Stuck on repeat
This past Saturday, I went with friends to Taste of Chicago, one of Chicago's many outdoor festivals and probably one of its most popular. Food, music, and summer make a potent combination.
While perusing the various booths, one naturally walks by several who are there purely for promotional reasons. Pausing in front of one of the Chicago Tribune tents, we were accosted by a hawker whose sole pitch seemed to be "Do you want to buy the paper?" Three times we were asked with little other interaction before our friends caught up to us and we were able to move beyond this odd display of salesmanship.
This highly transactional behavior, badgering someone in the hopes that they'll finally say yes just to get you to go away, is certainly not limited to newspapers. I'm frankly an inch away from sending anything and everything from my alma mater to the spam bin as I can rely on 95% of the messages to be about giving Carnegie Mellon money, either in the form of donations or, lately, to buy some form of memorabilia. And I like Carnegie Mellon.
It's really hard to build loyalty to your organization which is why many organizations remain so transactional. It's even easier to lose loyalty. This makes the investment in building loyalty through good experience management well worth it. You hear it all the time, but not everyone is paying attention to the laments that solid content, good stories, valuable information are things that enhance the experience of someone that you are moving up the loyalty tree and that pay off in the end with regular patronage, sustainable donations, and fierce advocacy on your behalf.
Be sure to make these things a significant part of your communications, not just "Do you want to donate?" stuck on repeat.