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Can you convert your marketing into a religion?

Aug 17, 2007
Religion breeds fanatics.

We've all seen that. And if it works for a bunch of crazies, why not make the same marketing strategies work for your product or service? Can you possibly adapt a system that has worked flawlessly for thousands of years to your business? Do you want to have customers chanting your name endlessly?

Suuuuuurrrrre you do! Read on and I'll show you how it works!

Why Grandpa's Restaurant Died!

Grandpa's restaurant was his pride and joy. The food was yum! The service was basic, but quick. And the prices pretty much ensured a happy little paunch over time. Yet amazingly, the customers dwindled and the restaurant slowly rode away into the sunset.

I was in shock. That was my goodbye to free meals forever. You may not think much of it, but I was twelve, and in that traumatic instant every single free meal of my impending teenage years flashed before my eyes.

So what did Grandpa do wrong? He had a whole cohort of hungry disciples, yet he never did anything with them.. Here are a few marketing strategies he could have taken that would have ensured my rumbling tummy rumbled no more!

Magical, Magical Data!

Every day, millions of people walk in and out of restaurants. Yet most restaurants know not where they come from, or where they go, or when they will be back.

Wake up and smell the coffee you've been selling!

When they eat at your place, they become existing customers. And fifteen seconds after their delicious dessert, they become DORMANT! How the heck are you going to get them back, if you don't know anything about them? The only way to do that is to collect data, much like this website does. When you know your customers a bit better, you can talk to them personally, and cater to their individual needs.

Can I Have Your Name While You Finish Your Beef Vindaloo?

Yes, you figured it out. You can't do that. And the time between their eating and walking out, is so fleeting that you may as well not try. So what do you do? You count on a basic human factor -- greed.

All of us are greedy and getting something for nothing is what we'd stake our steak on.

Imagine this scenario: You walk up to a more than satisfied customer right after the meal. Instead of the usual moronic, "How was your meal?", why not ask, "Was the food good enough to come back again?" Now that's a specific question. If they say yes, you give them a little form, informing them that their next meal is a whole 15% off. Would they like to fill in a form with their email address and postal address so that we can send them a voucher?

Aha! In one second, your database is off the mark, and you can pretty much bet that the yummiest of those seven deadly sins will kick in to get that customer back! Better still, you've got their permission to start a relationship. Yippee Doo!

How to Get Your Data Simmering

Once you have their information on file, how do you use it? The worst thing you can do is tell your foodies about how good you are. Tell them what they want to hear!

They are food lovers, remember? How can you entice them? Can you reach out and give them something special? Could you throw in a frequent-eater deal? Reach into their greedy stomach and something snaps in their brain, causing them to eat eight times a year, just to make 'eat points'. With every trip, they get to know the restaurant system better. They order stuff they like. They feel happier. People know them. They find a favorite table and God help anyone who crosses their path.

They have now reached the level of fanaticism.

How to Turn the Fanaticism Into a Religion

The only way to start a religion is to get disciples. Digging into your database, invite your best fanatics for a special thank you meal. Suddenly, you've got an advertising campaign for the price of a leg of lamb with mint pesto and baby carrots.

They are the disciples. Their burps spread the word. You sit back and rake in the moolah.

Besides, by networking like-minded people together, you're increasing their chances to do business with each other. The richer they get, the busier they become, and the more they want a place that knows and caters to their needs. The friends they bring along reflect their own wealth and status, thus sending the whole system in an unending loop of upgraded customers spreading the good news in double quick time.

Getting the Chinks Out of The System

If good news is a jumbo jet, bad news is a Concorde. However, regular customers get comfortable with you and don't mind complaining. They nit pick with the loving tenderness of mom and make sure you stay in line. You couldn't pay for this feedback if you tried.

So, try!

If a regular customer complains, make sure she gets rewarded for complaining. It's like rewarding a puppy for good behaviour and what you really need is a steady stream of complaints to fix your systems constantly.

Grandpa never heard the complaints. The customers simply didn't show up again. And his business walked out with them never to return.

Grandpa made his share of mistakes but there's no reason why you can't learn from them. The same marketing principles apply whether you're in the food business or selling coffee mugs.

These are the strategic steps:

1) Throw in The Bait: Entice them with something to part with the data. If at first it doesn't work, keep trying till you find something that does. Then, repeat it with every customer.

2) Use the Data Creatively: Think GREED. How can you make your customers want to keep coming back? You've got to appeal to base instincts.

3) Form a Club: Well-organised disciples are better than random fanatics. If one club gets too big, form another,and then another, till you have a whole series of people who swear by you, and for you.

4) Don't Be Shy: Make them also swear against you. Get feedback. Encourage it. Pay for it. Just do it!

Which brings me back to me. Why did I choose a restaurant as an example when I could have chosen any other product or service? The prime reason is simply because restaurants involve impulse decisions, and patrons are very fickle. Proving it works in this field proves it can work in almost any other.

But there's a selfish motive, too. I'm hoping some restaurateurs out there will be so pleased with this information, they'll offer me free meals forever! That way, I can catch up on the teenage years.

Finally!
About the Author
Wouldn't you love to stumble upon a secret library of small business ideas? Find simple, yet electrifying ideas onmarketing strategy,psychological tactics and branding. Head down to http://www.psychotactics.com#smallbusinessideas today and judge for yourself.
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