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Give Your Customers the Gift of Marketing this Christmas

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Give Your Customers the Gift of Marketing this Christmas

It’s almost Christmas. Time to order The Family Ham. The Ham is the centrepiece in my family Christmas. There’s 18 of us now all around a big table. And the feast together is The Thing. My 80-year-old father has been preparing the ham since I was tiny. It’s a tradition. He makes the marinade, does the basting and the carving. My job is to get the ham. And I choose to get it from Sean the Farmer. Sean has a big free-range farm near Dubbo in western NSW. I’m particular about free range and the family has become so too – maybe only to please me?

Early November my sister calls me, “just occurred to me we should probably order the ham, we might be too late”. Oh! It’s my job to order and her job to pick up and I had totally forgotten about it. Might be alright I thought, Christmas is six weeks away. I phone Sean the Farmer and get his voice mail. I leave a message and send an email. I wonder how many other women are doing exactly the same thing as me right now. Maybe talking to my Sean the Farmer, or some Other Farmer.  I get a message back – your rolled shoulder order is okay but we are all sold out of the Christmas hams. Argh! Kidding me! No!
As I scramble around the internet trying to find a suitable free range ham, I’m getting more and more cheesed off with Sean. I’ve been a regular customer of Sean the Farmer for Christmas hams for about 7 years now – since I finally acted on those uncomfortable feelings I’ve had since I was a kid about meat production and especially Christmas meat production.

Now, I work in marketing – I talk about marketing every day, do marketing stuff for my Small Business clients and speak at big conferences about how small to medium enterprises can offer a better customer experience with some simple and good marketing.

And I’m mad at Sean the Farmer! I’m mad because he isn’t doing the marketing that is going to make his customers happy – customers like me! I’m mad because he (or one of his team) didn’t send the simple email to his customer database that said, “Now is the time to order your Christmas hams and any other meats you want cook for Christmas”. That simple email would have prevented me from being in the situation that I’m in now. He could have taken that one step further and attached a PDF order form, or one step further again and offered a link to an online booking and payment form. Each of those steps is so simple.

If he had done that simple piece of marketing, I would not be scrambling around trying to find a ham that I feel okay to serve for Christmas dinner. I would have just ordered with Sean and felt really good about that.

It would have been a win for Sean too.  I’m sure he already knows how many hams he will sell at Christmas but he would get the cash in quicker (with an online payment form) which is good for his cash flow (currently he is cash on pick up from a market), he would be more efficient with his delivery schedule (saves him money and stress), he’ll retain his customers because people like me wont source an alternative that next year they will use again and forget about Sean (lifetime customer value).

If Sean emailed me every year, me and my family would be more than life-long. It would be me and then my kids and then maybe their kids all buying from Sean and his next generation farmers.

This is not just applicable to Sean, it’s true of most small to medium enterprises. Don’t think about marketing, think about that one thing that your business can do that will make all the difference to your customers. It’s about some small thing that you can do that will help them. They’ll love you for it. They’ll stick with you and they’ll tell their friends.

What’s that worth to you?

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