mbi Marketing

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Customer Engagement [place]

Business is no more different to other human activities of sport, non-peace (i.e. war), hunting, property ownership, or social networking. Each endeavour has a rhythm or slumps, gains or ‘steady as she goes’. There will be trends. There are one-hit wonders. There’s the ‘fashions’ that work for awhile. Sometimes there might be a ‘Global Financial Crisis’ (GFC), a ‘South Seas Bubble’, a ‘Great Depression’, or the  ‘Panic or 1797‘.

What’s this got to do with “customer engagement“?  These days, I begin with word pictures by asking, is there something new under the Sun?  This time, the answer is both “yes” and “no” … Sometimes it is no-way-no-how~blink~off!”, or in English, “What does this have to do with ‘me’ or ‘my business’?

Fashions and trends are the leading-edge of ‘innovations’.  Innovations are the short-tail of your industry-segment‘s future.  We know that ‘innovations’ come and some ‘innovations stay’ long enough to be the short-tail for YOU.

‘Engagement’ is availability imho.  My “customer engagement” perspective is that ‘engagement‘ equals location, location is access, and place (access is place, place, place, and place …).  By entertaining an idea that “engagement” is a promotion; I expect ‘customer engagement’ for folk wading in that same stream can find it frustrating that ‘advertising‘ has more or less the same effectas talkin’?  Dunno, personally.  ‘Advedrtising’ is an investment in a behavioural change (explicitly BUYING, sometimes it will be eating, exercise or supporting  censorship on the internet).

As an aside: I make no apology for supporting Free Speech outside business and always reserve my right to reserve my opinion on thoughts by others.

an ‘innovation‘ in your business’ market.   I find small-business either over- /under- innovate rather than find a balance. I began by typing, that your business “needs to be effective” — What the heck does that MEAN?!!

In ‘customer engagement‘ … Your key as a business asset is about creating your value:  —  Web site, Business, Shopfront, Party plan,  Market stall ::   Advertising #1.

  • Today’s advert. is tomorrows kitty litter.

Moore’s notion (not a law) not withstanding,  publicity oriented customer engagement is worth as much as tomorrow’s kitty litter until your operation wants to utilise the valuable communication seeds that publicity offers you to develop deep relationships, trust and later engagement.

Ratz!   I think I said that advertising with no unerlying Engagemetn or Relationship building process to back it up and make it VALUABLE … is not as good as flushing money down the toilet — Definitely much less effective than letting Worthy Social Programmes benefit from the same ‘so called’ million dollar advertising budget.

(oops) … Effective marketing communication is not necessarily an expensive engagement.  it is about YOUR Customer.  Are you a little cynical; it is going to be about how much your customer spends (in proportion to your cost of a sale).

Customer Engagement is about cultivating your interest in your customers and managing your time and other resources.



146 April, 2009 Posted by | customer, location, marketing, message, Place, value | Leave a comment

Great Location [place]


Imagine a shop front in a great location in a busy commercial centre; there’s lots of people traffic and the store sees many passers-by during the lunch period and early evening. This position has popular cafes, fast food and lunch outlets either side and on the opposite side of the street and it is probably losing money judging by the higher business volume the competing fast food stores enjoy.

Problem / Opportunity

Our shop is in a profitable location, with lots of competition, from substitutes and new shops frequently come and go (see: Porter, 2008). My comment, is that people can be a lazy when it comes to exploiting a good position.
When many people are making money selling buttons, it is smart to sell buttons too and “get me some of that“, when there’s lots of customers and not too many button sellers. In this example, the competition sells more buttons (or take-away food, in this case). What do you do?


I like to make sure there are options and contingency plans, so I always look for more than one pathway forward. The first thing we do is analyse the people-traffic, and imagine ways we can create our opportunity.

  1. Make your niche: We establish distinct benefits that make us an attractive alternative. In the take-away space, plan to be a favourite rather than exclusive. We can boost success by offering variety in our shop, so the customer doesn’t need to check the other shops to get more choice.
  2. Move sideways: In our example take-away precinct the options are to move up-, left-, back-, right-, or down- market in this location. A new rustic feel cafe just opened a couple of doors away.
  3. Outside the box: Is by definition, something completely different like an aquarium & gallery with pretty fish and stunning art for sale.
  4. Compliment the area: With many take-away shops nearby the area is ready for a complimentary offering like a place to check your email, listen to yor iPod while you eat.
  5. Clothing or fashion: After eating shoppers like to browse.
  6. Break the mould: Companies like Fruitopia have demonstrated that people want better, healthier take-away eating choices. In our take-away precinct there are lots of the expected options like burgers, chips, noodles, etc. This is a specific kind of side-ways step.
  7. Express your self: Think of a retail space like any other resource, its value is the cash flow it can bring in. In this example the basic features of location, people traffic, predictable visitors/time profile. And it’s a good bet it is loosing money now, so the price could be right. Ask yourself what can you do with that kind of opportunity?


There can be many ways to make your customer happy especially when he or she has comes to you — That’s the value of location. To benefit from a location, we need to look at how to translate existing features into customer value. The short list above takes a customer focus to look at this shop’s situation.
There’s no reason we can’t improve the existing operation the same way. The important things are to think fresh, do the right sums and meet the customer, avoid attempts focusing on the customer meeting you … In the way all the shops in that precinct focus on the customer engaging them.

2139 February, 2009 Posted by | case study, customer, location, marketing, Place | , , , , | Leave a comment

Optimal Customer Service [product]

Maximise market opportunities

(“Very Small Business“, ABC, 2009)

There is a saying:

The only good deal is one where both sides are happy.

1354 February, 2009 Posted by | customer, location, marketing, Place, Product, value | , , | 1 Comment

Where are you [place]

Place is a very old concept, I wouldn’t mind putting money on the possibility that place is the first part of marketing,  Place or location, stems all the way back to our origins before agriculture, way back to the hunter gather period.

I also think that this goes as much for buyer and seller.  For the most part I believe the ‘buyer‘ is tapping into primal urges to return with food.  ‘Sellers‘ seek buyers and need to find their products & services.  That’s good news, isn’t it?  I mean, if my guess works in practice.

The Marketing Mix

The Marketing Mix

In practice then, how does this benefit you? Every fisherman knows that you need to be where the fish are, and you need to use the right bait. Every hunter knows that you need to understand the habits of your prey so that you can anticipate their location and capture them. Finally, everyone of our ancestors knows how important it is to know where to find the bush with the best berries and greens with the most richest leaves. The clarion call is: Location, location, location. Put your self, your products, your services, your brand together with your customer.

Your customer is the same. She knows where to find what she wants or where to look when she needs to find something new. As the long time successful advertising campaign once puts it, she know … “Where do ya git it?!

If you can’t be everywhere like Coke a Cola, the next best thing is to be where your customer goes or where others offer your type of product.

The solution to the P for place is the question:

Where are you customer?

2853 January, 2009 Posted by | customer, location, marketing, Place | , | 1 Comment