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Marketing Is Still About Making People Smile

By on April 4th, 2011 in Marketing

We all work hard when it comes to marketing products and services. We are identifying the best prospects, selecting the right media, executing outstanding campaigns, and constantly improving our efforts. And, yet, it is still possible that we are missing the point. In many ways, our job is to make people happy to do business with us.

For the last few weeks, as I drive by a local fast food establishment, there’s been a person dressed in an ice cream cone costume dancing at the corner of a busy intersection holding a hand-written sign promoting the daily special. I’ve never noticed the special…but I can’t help but smile as I drive by watching this mascot’s antics. He or she is really having a great time — and it shows.

I spoke to the restaurant’s manager today. I remarked at how I smile and laugh every time I drive by. She told me “that’s what I tell them. I want them to have a good time. As long as they can hear, I let them wear their iPods and dance with as much energy and enthusiasm as they can muster.” She never mentioned marketing. She never told them to sell hamburgers or ice cream or french fries. She asked her employees to have fun and dance (albeit while wearing an ice cream cone costume).

Maybe, just maybe, this restaurant manager really gets it. After all, I know for a fact that I’m not the only person that’s noticed this crazy ice cream cone – their picture has appeared on Facebook and in the local paper for sure. The ice cream cone dancer is creating a buzz! Marketing at its finest.

We all know the “friendly” tellers at our bank, the “friendly” receptionist at our doctor’s office, the “friendly” checkout person at the grocery store, etc. And we gravitate to those people.

I think our goal as marketers is to be the friendly business. We want to be the one that makes people smile. We want our customers and prospects to be happy to do business with us. Once we achieve that, we’ll sell more hamburgers, more ice cream, more checking accounts, more auto loans and in the case of LKCS — more printing, more mailing, more statement processing and more web development.