E-Commerce Marketers Can Learn From Albert Einstein

January 24, 2016

E-commerce is here to stay, here to stay, here to stay. Sounds repetitive. It is! One of Albert Einstein most famous quotes: “Insanity: is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Just about all E-commerce executives should go back to Marketing 101 and take heed of Einstein’s wisdom. The marketing department is responsible for advertising and making customers aware of a company’s products and services. Sending daily promotional emails that clog a customer’s inbox is not the best way to get their attention. I learned in college that unless marketing dollars are targeted, they will be wasted. Certainly before the Internet, no CFO would allow daily mailers. A company’s marketing budget would have been maxed out immediately.

So fast-forward to today. It costs virtually nothing to send daily emails promoting products and services. Is it productive? I say NO. It’s annoying to both current and potential customers. Luckily for me, my company server recognizes those emails as junk and rightly so.

In my training sessions, I ask senior executives to look at the customer experience as a romance. A date is described as a singular event, one transaction, maybe never to repeated again. The object is to create a series of transactions building a relationship with the customer. Generating the atmosphere of a “romance” leads to repeat business. One date or a long-term relationship? Easy for a company to choose. Daily promotions communicate to the customer they are irrelevant and do not build a relationship.

Marketers can take lessons as well from famous authors and playwrights. Words are golden, glorious, and romantic. Instead of email blasts, let customers know they matter and are important after the sale. Show customers that your company appreciates their hard earned dollars. Brainstorm with your marketing teams about the best way to tell customers they are important in a personalized way. Showing customers they matter after the sale is a critical component of generating repeat business. Make first time buyers feel especially welcome. Communicate appreciation to repeat customers.

Marketing promotions are a line item on every budget. Most companies do not have a category for creating and building relationships, but they should. Everyone is talking about the customer experience but there is no clear definition of the term. I think the foundation for the customer experience should be the creation and continuation of the customer relationship. Relationship is the bond and glue that generates goodwill and repeat business. It is the differentiator and makes your customer less vulnerable to the competition.

Success in real estate is location, location, location. For repeat business, it is relationship, relationship, relationship. Yes, that’s repetitive but not insanity.

How do you show your E-commerce customers that their business counts?

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