Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"Leave No Stone Unturned" by Michelle Miller

In one of her recent blog postings, Michelle Miller includes a link to her first article as a marketing columnist for Inc.com, “The Daily Resource for Entrepreneurs.” Miller’s article is titled “Leave No Stone Unturned” and emphasizes the fact that “your customer is affected by each and every interaction with you, whether its physical, emotional, or virtual. It’s up to you to make sure those experiences are positive on a consistent basis.”

Miller further comments on the fact that many companies are trying to be creative and imaginative with their customer experiences by providing seeming luxuries and additions to the experience, however, they are consequently neglecting to focus on the core logical elements of the customer experience, such as customer service and wait times. Miller also points out that it is the customer herself who often holds the most valuable insight into the areas that require improvement in the marketing aspects of a company.

The elements of this article that make it marketing related are the various aspects of influence that marketing can have on a place of business. “Every touch point the customer has with your business contains an element of marketing. It can be your advertising, the location of your store, or the way your staff answers the phone.” Miller attempts to reach out to business owners and make them aware that the impact and influence of marketing can expand beyond the typical mailing or brochure and is in fact pervasive in the day to day business operations. The quality of customer service is explored as is the need to return to the basics of marketing and be sure that every marketing activity is focused towards satisfying what the customer really wants or needs.

There are many ways that this article reaches out to inform marketing and bring matters to attention that many companies often fail to realize and even neglect. One of the most important marketing informative aspects of this article is Miller’s insight into the fact that management is simply too close to the operations of the business to be able to accurately focus on the needs of the customer. Miller’s suggestion is one that all companies should take into consideration and whose importance is verified by an article in this week’s readings titled “Start with the Customer” by Stephen Brown. Both Brown and Miller emphasize that empowering the customer by allowing their feedback on business operations can have a profound effect on their satisfaction as well as the satisfaction of other customers. Often times business owners can become too involved in trying to know everything that they forget that their most powerful and accurate resource lies within their customers, right at their fingertips. As Miller states, “Their suggestion of a subtle change in the way you do business can mean the difference between ordinary profit and miraculous growth.”

In terms of this article improving my understanding of marketing, I feel this article helped to balance my perception of the mix between the needs for logical and creative elements in marketing. Past articles discussed in MK402 have focused on the importance of creativity and thinking “outside the box” with marketing activities, however, Miller has emphasized the importance of satisfying the basic needs of marketing and getting in touch with the customer and her logical needs before becoming overly creative or being creative while lacking the basic needs of the consumer. “A consumer-electronics chain might be testing a female-oriented concept store – the décor is soothing and the background creates a nice ambience. But what if there are 25 very unhappy customers standing in line with only two flustered clerks at checkout?” I feel I now have a better sense that marketing requires creativity and appealing to customers in new ways, however, you must ultimately be in touch with the core needs of the consumer and be able to satisfy her on a basic level before the effects and rewards of creativity can come into play.

If I could critique one aspect of this article, I would suggest that Miller expand upon the topics presented in this article to a greater extent. Miller brings up excellent points and begins to illustrate excellent examples, however, I found myself wanting to read more and for a greater level of detail regarding the insight she provides on these topics. While I understand that this article was most likely limited to a certain length, I wish that Miller could have taken the opportunity to expand on these topics through the use of her blog, rather than simply providing a link to her pre-existing article.

article: http://www.inc.com/resources/marketing/articles/20060201/miller.html
blog: http://michelemiller.blogs.com/marketing_to_women/2006/02/index.html

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