in Work and Play
Do Things Worth Talking About
Scott Stratten, author of "Unmarketing" and "QR Codes Kill Kittens," recently spoke about what real marketing really looks like. His message included a wonderful story about a stuffed giraffe named Joshie and his stay at the Ritz-Carlton.
When we think of the Ritz, a certain persona emerges. A high-end hotel with a sophisticated appeal probably comes to mind. However, the following story tells us so much more.
A father called the Ritz that he and his family recently visited to let them know that he had an issue. His young daughter had left her cherished stuffed giraffe, Joshie, at the hotel. He asked them to do their best to find it but assumed it was gone forever. Meanwhile, he told his little girl that Joshie had gone on a vacation and that he simply needed a little R&R.
While most hotels would probably have just ignored the request and assumed that the cleaning people tossed the giraffe away, the Ritz went to great lengths to find the lost giraffe. After an exhaustive search, they discovered that poor little Joshie had rolled up in the sheets and was in the laundry. He was safe and sound...and clean.
They promptly packaged Joshie up and sent him home. The kicker was that they not only used FedEx, but they paid for it and added a little something extra. Understanding that the father had told his daughter about Joshie's vacation, they decided to include a few photographs of his stay. There was one of him in the spa with cucumber slices on his eyes. There was one of him at the pool with sunglasses and a drink with a little umbrella in it. And there was one with him at the business center working on his computer. It looked like Joshie had a wonderful time.
The lengths that the Ritz went through to make a little girl feel better was amazing and the father was ecstatic. The father naturally was thankful and will most certainly stay there again. However, the most important thing he did was tell everyone he knew about how the Ritz handled this situation. He became their biggest fan and, more importantly, their greatest advocate. And that is marketing!
Marketing permeates every part of your organization. It exists with customer service, accounts payable and the delivery trucks. The experience matters, and the care that we show for our clients says more about us than any logo ever could.
So, do things that are worth talking about. Dare to be different and stand out through your actions and your passion for the business - that is what people will talk about. You cannot pull the wool over people's eyes in today's world. In other words, the information at our fingertips is endless and the power that we have with social communication is significant. Companies can no longer get away with misleading or treating customers poorly. We simply have too many ways to communicate with each other.
In addition, we typically make buying decisions with the advice and the council of the people who are closest to us. So, getting into the inner circle of trust takes time and a healthy dose of sincerity. When you are able to truly care then you will have something to talk about.