A customer is for life, not just for Christmas
Here is the long-awaited Santa, in all his glory
This week’s visit from the local rotary club Santa got me thinking about being a marketer, the importance of clear, unambiguous communication – and most importantly, understanding your customer.
We’d had the rotary club flyer for some time: Santa would be travelling down our road on his sleigh on 12th December. Nice leaflet, but its main flaw being that it didn’t indicate when he’d be setting off that night, or indeed when he might be on my road. Still, he said he would be there at some stage so I did what any good auntie would do and invited my small niece and nephew to come and wait for him to pass by.
I couldn’t find any clear information on the rotary website, but we asked around and were reliably informed by a friend of a friend that he sets off at 6pm sharp. So we waited. And waited some more. We checked the leaflet for the route he was taking – only to find that the route was actually an alphabetically ordered list of roads. No use whatsoever for those of us trying to figure out when he might pass by our door. Did I mention that we had the door open all this time so that we didn’t miss him?
Poor Kate – she’s two and a half. She was so excited at 6pm. I can’t tell you how many times we stood on the road looking for him. I even sent my husband out in the car to trawl the route and locate him.
Poor Kate – she was flagging at 8:15 and had to go home to bed without seeing him. They must have called it off. He’d never come after 8:15pm would he? It’s for little children after all – and they go to bed early don’t they?
He turned up at 9pm. All the children were in bed and he looked a bit put out that there was nobody on the road to greet him. He might be Santa – but he’d failed to understand the one key fact about his job – his customers are all under 7 and go to bed early.
Marketers take note: if you go to the trouble of designing a nice leaflet, remember that it doesn’t stop at the design. Check that you have communicated everything clearly for your customers and managed their expectations. It will be a long time before Kate forgets the night the Santa let her down.