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Customer Manufacturing Group
In This Issue
Sales Forced Automation
Old Dogs and New Tricks
It's The Little Things
If You Tweet Does It Matter
No Wonder Marketing Gets No Respect
More Information 

Sales Forced Automation vs. CRM

Has your company recognized the need to become more customer-centric? The proof comes from deeds or actions. For a number of companies one of the first steps in their attempt to change is the belief that software tools are necessary to make this transition viable. While this may be true it is not necessarily the best first step: Sales Forced Automation vs. Customer Relationship Management

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Customer Manufacturing Update
April, 2011
Dear Mitchell,

Here is your April Customer Manufacturing Update. Thinking outside-in vs. inside-out is again being recognized as a competitive weapon. Using technology to assist in that endeavor can be a boon or a bane. This month's white paper considers this issue.
Old Dogs and New Tricks

Corvette ZR-1

Who says old dogs can't learn new tricks,and that big companies can't serve narrow niches? The new General Motors is trying something that seems quite amazing. Will it work? Who knows, but it is daring. What are they up to?


If you buy a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1 you choose the option of assembling your own LS7 or LS9 engine at their Performance Build Center in Wixom, MI. It is apparently a six-hour task you perform under direct supervision of an experienced technician. Capacity is about 15,000 engines per year. Total Corvette sales last year were about 14,000.


And to bring new meaning to the old joke about the hourly rate being higher if you help, GM dealers are charging about $6,000 for the privilege of assembling your own engine. Plus travel expenses to get yourself to MI. However, if you fit this demographic, we suspect this is pretty cool.


It's The Little Things 



It doesn't take a lot to make a BIG impression in today's mediocre service world. (Maybe that's better than in the 1980s when Tom Peters said you could stand out in the crowd if you could raise your service to mediocre.) We hear about big companies that have outstanding service policies like Zappos. But there are small companies that quietly delight their customers by surprising them.


Today's example is The PrintWorks Collection. Mitch's wife is a crafter and she needed some new ink pads. (Outliner inks to be specific.) She placed her order on their website and a few days later her order arrived. Turns out they were out of one of the colors she ordered in the size she ordered, so they sent her a smaller pad and refill at no charge while they wait to fill the order as placed.


She was pleasantly surprised and said she LOVES this site.

How are you providing a positive surprise to create loyalty with your customers?

If You Tweet Does It Matter?Lose-lose 

The debate about the value of businesses using Twitter continues. Opinions abound. Facts are in short supply. Queries from freelance writers looking for people who have "made money" from Twitter appear almost daily. I'm sure some people have. That's not the point. A few people found gold in California. Most didn't; but the suppliers of mining equipment and supplies made lots of money.


With all this noise going on, I was pleased to read about a six month analysis of tweets done by 360i, a leading digital marketing agency. During that time frame, they looked at tweets sent by real people rather than by businesses. (They estimate 90% of tweets are from people, 10% from businesses.) They found that only 12% of those tweets (from people) ever mention a brand or product, and the vast majority of those mentions were of Twitter itself.


They found that most of the few brand conversations that go on between Twitter users are self-generated and not part of anything the company itself did to stimulate a conversation. They also found some other interesting statistics: 94% of tweets are personal in nature, 85% are original, not re-tweets and 43% are personal, directed to a single person, not their followers as a whole. Conversely, marketers are trying to use it as a broadcast medium, with 88% of their tweets being directed at all followers.


The one positive the study found is that 82% of brand mentions on Twitter were positive. So the old story about people pushing negative comments harder and faster than positive ones about your product, brand, or company, is at least not yet true on Twitter.


As I have told people for years, if you want to get people talking about you, make yourself, your product, or your brand remarkable.

No Wonder Marketing Gets No Repect
Positioning The Battle For Your Mind

We ran across an article on "Navigating the Marketing Measurement Maze" from The Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications and, while it is a journal focused on marketing communications, it nevertheless got our attention because of the authors' apparent lack of understanding of what Marketing really is about.


A section of the article stated "Market characteristics also change often due to competitive and external forces. For example, a pantyhose manufacturer released a new product only to have a competitor almost immediately replicate the product at a lower price. Unless the original manufacturer's metrics account for relative pricing across the category, these measures may incorrectly attribute the unsuccessful product launch to the marketing or product design itself."


Excuse us, but since when do you think Marketing is not responsible for predicting and reacting to competitive responses to new product introductions? The vast majority of new products introduced into the market fail. Due to a lack of effective Marketing ... and we don't mean just marketing communications.

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Mitchell Gooze
Customer Manufacturing Group
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Customer Manufacturing Group | 1900 Wyatt Drive, #11 | Santa Clara | CA | 95054

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