Play more offense in 2010

by Stan Phelps

in purple goldfish project,word of mouth/mouse

If the Customer Service Dept. is Your Defense . . . then Your Purple Goldfish is Offense

chris s penn #the5Christopher S. Penn wrote an inspiring post to kick off the new decade on Jan.1.  It turns out he is rededicating his focus in 2010 to stay true to the moniker of his blog, ‘Awaken Your Superhero’.

[I highly recommend a podcast that Chris does with partner John Wall called ‘Marketing Over Coffee’.  Roughly 20 minutes of the duo kibitzing about marketing with a focus on SEO, e-mail and social media.  I always walk away with a nugget or two]

Here is the strong marketing takeaway from Chris’ post:

Play to your strengths. Deploy your offense. Look for opportunities to do more of what you know you’re really good at. Find ways to work your powers into more of what you do every day. Give your defensive linemen a breather and score a touchdown or two this year.

I started thinking about the points Chris was making as I was working on my manuscript last night.

I starting thinking about defense.  I always get a chuckle when I hear Boomer Esiason rant about a ‘prevent defense’ in football.  Boomer absolutely hates it.  He says it only prevents you from doing one thing . . .it prevents you from winning.  Then I thought about the idea of customers using social media to vent about their bad customer experiences.  Too often this puts companies on the defensive. As Rick Liebling referenced in a recent post on EYECUBE, it ends up looking like the company is apologizing a lot.

After all – no one is going to go on Facebook, Twitter or blog about a mere satisfactory experience.  Too often companies settle for what an old boss of mine used to call “The New Jersey Compliment”.  Simply defined, “When your customers don’t tell you you’re fu*king up, then you know you are doing a good job.”

The problem with laying back with the Jersey Compliment strategy is that Google has changed the rules.  Now those same customer complaints can show up on the first page of the search results for your company.

social media stimulant purple goldfishThe Solution:

Develop some branded acts of kindness, i.e. ‘purple goldfish’.  Figure out a few signature ways you can surprise and delight your customers by giving that ‘little unexpected extra’.  Do it correctly by sticking to the R.U.L.E.S and you’ll tap into the vital 10% of the general public.  I’m talking about the 9% who share comments about brands and the holy grail, the 1% who actually create content on the web.  Give them something to talk, tweet, Facebook and post about.  You need to fight those inevitable bad comments by going on the offensive in 2010.  Gets some ‘attaboys’ on the first page of your Google results.

Could 2010 be the Year of the Purple Goldfish? (#purplegoldfishproject)

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