I’ve posted this rant earlier on Facebook, and thought why not post it here as well.
MONDAY RANT: YOU ARE WORTH AS MUCH AS YOU VALUE YOURSELF
You know that one, when you really like a certain brand and its products, but the people, especially their PR, behind the brand are anything but up to par you’d expect from PR/customer service? Yeah, that one.
I’ve bought nearly a dozen products from this brand. And I like them, a lot. Especially one product was really great. And had planned the reviews on all these products. But boy, the brand’s communication leaves a lot to be desired. As a customer, who shares experience with natural beauty products via my green beauty blog, I still find myself taken aback at how little common sense certain natural beauty brands as well as beauty stores possess; no basic understanding of how to effectively communicate with their customers, from not even replying to emails or replying to emails a month later (you don’t still use a pigeon as your mail carrier, or do you now?)
They have no clue about marketing either. No clue that those bloggers, who actually KNOW marketing strategies, have an in-depth look into what customers are searching for, what they need, what they are asking about as well as approaching brands and stores as a customer and from a customer perspective.
Not to mention the down-right nasty attitudes of some. Sure, you’d love and be delighted to be listed in my BUSINESS directories, so that your potential customers would find you, and via that, you’d profit from it. You’re eager to know what does it take to be listed in my absolutely unique business directory. As long as it’s for FREE, right? The moment you learn that ADVERTISING your for-profit business is actually not for free (again, you must be totally clueless about marketing or are actually that dishonest and cheap to think someone is going to bring business your way for free), you change the tune and either decide to be totally uncultured and never reply again, or come up with idiotic commentary about OTHER business listed in my business directories, as if you KNOW the business agreements I have with other businesses – which you do not!
Internet can make or break your business. When the word gets out of how you treat customers, especially those, who write about our experiences with you – because this is what bloggers are: customers, writing about our experiences with your businesses, it’s hard to recuperate from that. Many big brands from various sectors have the whole teams of people dealing solely with customer service and making sure their reputations are in tact on internet. Sure, small business may not be able to afford all that, but is common courtesy, common sense, basic understanding of communication too expensive for you as well or is it for free?
Sure, you love my idea, but – as long as it’s for free and you will find someone who will do some of the things I proposed for free. But please, do not expect me to hand you a marketing analysis for free as well! You obviously do not know a thing about internet marketing nor your business sector; did you know that marketing analysis for various business sectors run in 1000s of €? Of course you didn’t. But that doesn’t stop you from thinking you’re going to get a marketing analysis of green beauty industry AND pertinent marketing points regarding your business specifically for FREE, does it now?
When you show me, a customer, just how little you value your business, best believe I will take your word for it. And spread it, too. And when you show me how, all of the sudden when you didn’t get something for free, little you value MY business, please believe I will not say one good word about your business; you’re only super excited and eager to be mentioned on my blog as long as it’s for free, but when it’s not, you actually don’t see a reason for being promoted on my blog?
It’s hard to gain a customer; it’s even harder to keep it. There will always be competition, which will go an extra mile you are not willing to go; whether because you haven’t a clue about business and marketing, or because of your attitude toward the customer.
In the past year or so, I’ve seen many business in natural beauty sector going out of – business. I’ve tried to explain to them how this works, but they were too smart and too cheap with their money. And given I closely follow this industry, I can predict which brands will struggle and which stores will go out of business in the near future.
Some think if they paid for one room, they can later demand the whole penthouse suit. If this is how you do business, and it clearly is, you and the business will soon part. Business contracts are to be respected, not molded into whatever you want after the fact.
The world is a big place, internet even bigger and competition corresponds with this fact, naturally. If you’re not willing to invest in people actually knowing you exist, please, do not be surprised if no one actually knows you exist.
Marketing is a fine tuned aspect of every business. If you’re in green beauty business, would you do business with a marketing firm, which also represents construction business, automobile selling business, conventional beauty brands as well as plumbing business, but clearly does not have personal experience with green beauty nor has any knowledge about what customers of green beauty actually need, want and search for, or would you do business with a niche marketing business dedicated to natural beauty business only? Unfortunate if you’d even have to ask yourself that; even worse you don’t ask yourself that at all.
I, as a customer, have no patience nor tolerance for shady green beauty businesses. It’s not only you won’t see my money in your pocket, you also won’t see me promoting your products either. And given my readers recognize I am not some band – wagoner, who jumped on green beauty previous month, I’d wager to say my word carries some weight as well.
No doubt you might get something, somewhere, for free. But this is a short-term business strategy and the results will correspond with that, sooner rather than later.