Everywhere I turn I have marketers screaming at me to ‘buy their shit*.’
(* By shit, I mean product/service/software, etc …whatever it is that they’re trying to sell me)
I like their Facebook page; I get a constant stream of posts asking me to buy their shit.
I view their website; they follow me around the internet with their remarketing ads asking me to buy their shit.
I give them my email address; I am bombarded with 5 emails a day all asking me to buy their shit.
This behavior is like asking for sex on the first date and it is not how you build a relationship!
Will you have sex with me?
Following in the footsteps of Ryan Deiss from Digital Marketer, I’m going compare the behavior of some of today’s marketers with an actual relationship.
Let’s paint the picture…
You’re a heterosexual male. You’re sat in the corner of a coffee house enjoying your grande caramel macchiato whilst flicking through a book or newspaper.
A female walks over and politely asks you if she may sit at your table since there are no other available seats.
You agree, she sits down, and you exchange pleasantries.
You sense the slightest bit of attraction between the two of you …
What do you do next?
You may play it cool, get the conversation going, and find a cheeky way of giving her your number (or getting her number), but here’s what you don’t do….
You don’t ask her if she wants to have sex with you!
…and you certainly don’t get down on one knee and propose to her!
But this is exactly what all these ‘buy my shit’ marketers are doing.
You show the slightest bit of interest as a consumer and they’re trying to get you to jump into bed with them and commit to a relationship.
The numbers game
Back to the coffee house.
If you did ask her for sex, she’s probably going to say no. The same as most prospects will say no to buying your shit after their first encounter with your company.
The odds of getting a solid ‘yes’ are not in your favor.
…she may say yes – it’s highly unlikely, but it is a possibility.
So, let’s say it’s your lucky day and she does indeed say yes to a bit of ‘slap and tickle’ after knowing you the total amount of 15-minutes.
You may think that this is a good conversion rate. After all, you haven’t had to invest the time and money into taking her out for dinner, getting to know her, and you haven’t had to follow the general courtship process.
For the ‘buy my shit’ marketers, they’re happy with this front-end commitment. They get their prospect to buy from them with the smallest amount of investment on their part.
Now, we’ve all heard that marketing can be referred to as a ‘numbers game’ because we are always measuring open-rates, click-through-rates (CTR), cost-per-conversion (CPC), etc.
The ‘buy me shit’ marketers are playing a short version of the number game. This means that they are only running calculations up until the first purchase. E.g. how many doors they knocked on and how many of them said yes.
This is why they’re constantly chasing people to try and get them to buy their shit. They’re just knocking on as many doors as possible hoping some of them will say yes.
Clever marketers, on the other hand, play a long version of the numbers game and take into account the lifetime value of a customer. They think about what will happen after that first purchase/interaction and their calculations go way past that initial transaction.
The lifetime value of a one-night stand
Going back to our relationship analogy, let’s pretend that she did indeed agree to have sex with you and you converted a cold prospect into a customer.
After your transaction is complete (your one-night stand) she’ll probably walk out of your door and you’ll never see her again.
Now, this is fine if you’re happy to have a high turnover of customers. But you’ll be on a constant treadmill of trying to top up your sales funnel, as customers and prospects will be forever dropping out of the bottom into a black hole, never to be seen again.
In the same way that playboys will go through lots of phone numbers, you will also rinse through your own data. Your email lists will have a poor open rate and your social media pages will lack engagement.
Your one-night stand will probably not commit to you. She’s not going to be opening your emails, sharing your social media posts, leaving you rave reviews, and speaking highly of you to all her friends.
BUT (and this is a big but that you need to pay attention to), if your first transaction doesn’t go to plan and she receives poor customer service, because you don’t have a relationship with her she’ll be more likely to shout and scream about it. By this, I mean, posting negative reviews, claiming a refund (with possible compensation), and telling all her friends not to go anywhere near you.
The lifetime value of a relationship
Now let’s look at the clever marketers that play the long numbers game.
They come into contact with a potential customer. Instead of asking for sex straight out of the gate, they take the time to find out more about them and to offer value.
In the dating sense, this could mean taking them out for dinner. In the marketing sense, this could mean providing your prospect with some form of information that answers their questions or giving them access to a tool that makes their life easier.
But again, even after they’ve provided that initial value, they’re not going to ask for sex…they’re just going to keep building the relationship and providing more value.
Eventually, the time will come when the transaction is made, and their prospect becomes a customer. This lead time will vary from prospect to prospect.
When that transaction is made, they’re much more likely to stick around and they’ll have a higher propensity of purchasing again, opening emails, following the company’s social media pages, and telling everyone how fantastic you are.
AND …(back to our big but) if the first transaction didn’t go smoothly, they’re much more likely to be understanding and to give the company another go. If, for example, the servers go down and the company experiences some problems or interruption in service, they’re also more likely to stand by them rather than jump ship.
As they continue to provide their customer with value and good service, the customer will eventually ascend and become a premium customer. They will be willing to upgrade and pay the company more.
…and who knows, they may even sign-up for a lifelong membership (marriage!).
Marketing is about building relationships
By taking the time to build a relationship you’re going to get a higher quality customer. One that will continue to provide your company with value way beyond that first transaction.
They may be a little harder to get, but they’ll be worth it.
So, here’s my message to marketers everywhere…
Don’t try and shag ‘em on the first date. Keep it in your pants and build a relationship with your customer that’s going to last.
P.S. Just don’t ask me for any real-life dating advice. I’m useless at that!