By Martin Barrett
Ancient Proverb: One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
Let’s say you visit a great restaurant. You carefully select this particular establishment because of recommendations and their stellar reputation for great food, service and ambiance. The evening of your visit, your experience is just what you wanted.
Everything is perfect until the meal ends. Feeling satisfied, you just want to sit with your dinner mate and talk, savoring the last wine or coffee. But the restaurant staff keeps bringing you the menu, putting it on the table, asking if you would like to order again. They wonder if you have noticed the new items or have heard the forecast of culinary changes they have planned for the next month or year. In addition, the waiter brings the dessert menu again and again, saying this might be the best time to get dessert in the foreseeable future. What a disturbance this behavior has caused to your evening! Instead of setting up a desire for a return visit, the restaurant has compromised a great dining experience. Trust will be broken down, and loyalty reduced. In essence, they have just shut the door on a potential returning customer.
While we hope you don’t ever have this kind of dinner experience, unfortunately this type of behavior is typical of most marketing loyalty programs. The customer has purchased and is satisfied. The need is satisfied. It will return; but for now, repeatedly bringing out the product menu out is of no value. In fact this relentless repetition is a trust and loyalty killer.
If this kind of behavior is fatal to customer relationships, why do businesses continually repeat this mistake? Because they do not understand the alternative. Marketers are addicted to pedaling dopamine when they need to be oxytocin dealers.
Conventional product marketing seeks to trigger dopamine, the consumer chemical in the brain. Dopamine marketing is a good strategy when someone is hungry to buy and has a felt or anticipated need. But once the need is satisfied, this type of marketing is no longer efficacious. Additionally, dopamine has no effect on trust or loyalty, making this type of marketing weak for long-term customer development.
A sophisticated marketer knows the appetite of their customer. What do they hunger for? No matter how sweet your offering might be, it is a complete disconnect if the customer isn’t seeking. The smart marketer knows that between meals is the time to build trust and loyalty, to stay connected, alert for the time when customers’ hunger will return again and ready to show up.
What is the best way to bring customers back to their hunger? World Changers believes that trust and loyalty are best built in value alignment and shared generosity. As companies spend marketing dollars on social needs in partnership with a customer, they create trust and loyalty that no amount of product advertising (or flogging) can touch. With each shared generosity experience, the brain releases oxytocin, causing trust and loyalty to build. It creates a confluence of shared values between business and customer. This platform of trust and loyalty sets the company up to “present the menu” when the customer returns. And return they will, ready to engage with a trusted provider.
Do a “chemical check” of your marketing cycle. Do you know the right time for the right chemical? Remember, use traditional product marketing for dopamine needs. Use shared generosity experience for oxytocin needs.
World Changers recommends this pattern in your marketing cycle:
- Know where your customer is in the buying cycle
- Growing awareness of their need? (Dopamine)
- Evaluating their provider? (Dopamine and Oxytocin)
- Making final selection? (Dopamine)
Satisfied? (Oxytocin)Looking for another meal? (Dopamine)
A sophisticated marketer builds trust and loyalty, knowing that’s what draws a customer to return again and again.