Monday, November 06, 2006

Ingenious Marketing: The Key to Strategic Partnerships


If you have ever thought how you might partner with another businesses offering complementary products to your customer base, take a look at this ingenious idea between the Ritz Carlton and Mercedes Benz.

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Nonetheless, I was in awe when I found this package as I prepare for holiday travel. And as a huge smile took form on my face, I began to see the superb opportunity for small business owners to take a lesson from this concept.

Talk about creating a magical customer moment. This idea is on steroids. It is the perfect combination for the discerning customer.

The details:
The Mercedes-Benz Key to Luxury package (Phoenix, AZ)
Daily use of a 2006 Mercedes-Benz with unlimited mileage (CLS 500 and S 550 sedan models)*
Complimentary gasoline refills
Complimentary overnight valet parking
Complimentary use of the fitness center
Complimentary morning newspaper Ritz-Carlton Club Level accommodations for two, per night
Exclusive key access
Personal concierge staff
A variety of gourmet food and premium spirits offered in five complimentary culinary presentations
Special Mercedes-Benz turndown amenity

The glory and splendor in this exclusive package is a true lesson in strategic marketing partnerships with two very different products targeting identical customers. While your customer base may be very different every business owner can find a partner, package complementary products, share customers and create a fabulous opportunity to increase revenue, customer bases and marketing dollars.

What types of creative partnerships can you implement into your business?

A gardener and nursery
A masseuse and a chiropractor
A beauty salon and a caterer
A spa and a limo company
A technology consulting firm and business management consultant
A daycare provider and a dry cleaner (bring your kid and your laundry…I like this one)
A financial advisor and life coach
The list is endless….


Friday, November 03, 2006

We Want Your Customer Experiences


Dear readers,

Magic-ability wants to here from you! Send us your best or worst cusomter experiences. Please send your responses to me and I will post them in the blog.

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Guide lines:
Submissions must be regarding a situation where you felt that the idea of magic-ability was achieved or and experience where magic-ability was missed.

The intention here is two fold.

1. To identify the companies that are doing things right

2. To help those that can do better

If you want to remain annonomous I will respect that and not include your name or email in the post. Please include the business name and location if possible.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Can Your Customers Smell "Generic"?


Recently I received a greeting card in the mail after ordering new cable service. It was the typical "Welcome, new customer" message that BIG business usually sends after you order something from them. It was signed by some BIG person with some BIG title. It immediately went into the trash. Yes I opened it, but I did not get a warm and fuzzy feeling in my belly.

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Sure, I get the point. Thank your customers, send them something unexpected. While I appreciate the gesture, it made me wonder. How many of these generic cards does this BIG company send everyday? Hundreds? Maybe thousands? Did it do its job to thank me for my business? Sure. Then why am I complaining about this seemingly kind gesture.

Let’s see if I can sum it up:

The person who signed the card, some corporate executive, has no idea who I am. She/he didn’t speak with me or answer any of my questions. They didn’t explain the difference between high, high speed internet access vs. slow, high speed internet access. The high profile signature on a generic card is, well, generic. It means something to the business, but not to me.

Now let’s turn this around. If I had gotten that card and it had been signed by the wonderful representative that I spoke to, that would have been impressive. I would have felt remembered and special to a person, not a company. The company takes my money, sure for a service I want, but still don’t they have enough?

But the associate on the other end of the phone is just like me; trying to make a living. She needs me to have cable so she can feed her kids, buy Prada or whatever. I help her when I buy cable. So you see, had the card been a heartfelt thank you, from the person that actually helped me I would be flattered. Instead, I wrote this article hoping to help others recognize that connecting with your customers has to be purposeful and real. Not generic.