You can lead a horse to water...

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." It's quite possibly one of the oldest English proverbs that is still in use today, but it tells a great deal about how you should establish your business. 

After all, "marketing" as it is traditionally thought of is the act of persuading one person to make the choice to "take a drink" of a product offered by another person. But sometimes there is a problem here. The "drink" isn't all that good. Whether the product is all wrong, the store experience is one to quickly forget or the team in place is ill equipped to handle a situation, a bad customer experience can be damaging to a business. So, here are a few things that we offer up that might help make that "water" a little easier for the "horse" to take down.

1) Make sure the product matches the customer - You wouldn't sell skinny jeans to a 65 year old man searching for his retirement home would you? Well, I hope not, anyway. When you take a look at your marketing plan, you need to make sure that you are targeting the people that you want to come into your store or buy your product or service. In fact, I will be bold enough to say that you should neglect the people that DON'T want your product. After all, there is no point in spending a lot of time coming up with an ad campaign that you blanket out across 7 different publications that 100,000 people subscribe to, if there's probably only 20,000 of those that would potentially use your product, right? The point is, you want to target your advertising/marketing as much as possible to reach the people that want to be a part of your business. In essence, you are building "your tribe." And those folks are the ones that will love you and more importantly bring others like themselves to you.

2) Take a walk in your own shoes - Sounds strange, right? But what I mean is, go through the process of working with a potential customer in your business. Are there things you could improve with regards to first impressions? Should you clean up the foyer of your office? Is your presentation stale or need a good refurbushing? It's a fact that you only get one first impression, unless your impression is SO BAD it causes your customer to suffer from amnesia...and in that case, you may have a second chance. What I'm trying to say is, make sure that each time you have a customer there, you have no regrets when they walk away to consider things.

3) Do you feel like I do? -  Peter Frampton probably has a totally different version than what I'm thinking for this section. What I'm asking is, does your team/contractors/business partners/etc. have the same passion for your business as you do? Do they have your respect and share your passion for the business? No matter what business you are in, it's extremely important that everyone is on the same page. I can't tell you how frustrating it is for me to walk into a restaurant and not be greeted or to see employees lounging around or for someone to tell me "sorry, I"m not your waiter." Even though I'm using a restaurant as an example (because I worked in several in my day), I think this is universal in that a business owner or manager should instill a culture of serving the customer no matter what the situation may be. Everyone that comes to work for you, should share (or at least understand) the same passion as you.

And that does it. Sure, there are a lot more things you can do to shape up the customer experience, but hopefully this will shed some light on how marketing should be secondary to how you are managing the operations side of things. So, before you lead the horse to the water, just make sure that all things are clicking upstream.

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Working with 2JS Interactive was an absolute pleasure. They listen well, truly seek to understand, execute diligently, and produce a most professional final product. Thank you to the 2JS team for a job well done!

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