Saturday, January 06, 2007

Marketing vs Customer Experience

Marketing is and has been for decades the poster child of enterprise. The subject is full of books, gurus, courses, awards, media coverage and what have you. Every CEO talks of marketing marketing marketing...and in MBA programs the lure of marketing draws millions of aspirants every year.

Then there is Customer Experience...what is that you ask? Customer Experience is the experience you have after you have fallen for the marketing and decided the buy the product. For example, after you have seen the Incredible India ads you decide to visit India; or after you received the free Yahoo T-Shirt you went and checked out the website. You'll be hard pressed to find a single book, course, expert or media coverage on this subject. It not considered important or glam.

Because Customer Experience has been neglected as a subject, it sucks in 9 out of 10 cases. You see the Incredible India ads and then you land in India where they screen all your bags upon arrival while making you wait in a 1 hr line. Or its the lousy experience you get after signing up for MSN Hotmail...

When Customer Experience is good, there have been amazing successes. Tourism into Dubai or Thailand, both which provide excellent Customer Experience has boomed. Receently Skype, Google & YouTube hit the jackpot because customers gave them 2 thumbs up and told all near and dear. The stories of good Customer Experience are many and we all know them.

Infact, I could go so far as saying, that every product with good customer experience has done well with or without help from marketing. More so in recent times where word of mouth through email, messenger, cell phone etc happens faster than ever.

So why is Customer Experience such a neglected subject? I have no idea. If it was upto me, I would do everything I could to further and better Customer Experience. I would design courses that teach the values of Customer Experience and in business reconfigure resource allocation 8:2 in favour of Customer Experience.

Till that happens, here is to more trash Marketing and even trashier Customer Experience.

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