Monday, May 17, 2004

Miracle on 34th Street Marketing

I am the webmaster for my company's website and I recently had this "inspiration" concerning linking to our competitors' websites.

Do you remember the movie, "Miracle on 34th Street"? It's the one that starts with the Macy's Parade and follows the life of a cynical young girl who meets the "real" Santa. In the movie, Santa told the mother of one of the kids he was listening to on his lap that she could find the toy that she wanted at the competing department store down the street. Shocked, the store owner was about to fire Santa until he realized, it's a marketing strategy that worked!

Does it really work or is it just so much Hollywood make believe...

I believe it does, and I'm going to tell you why.

What is your business core value? A simple enough question. The obvious answer that may come to mind is, Make Money$$! That's fine. That's as good of a core value as any other, but you will never develop a great company with that as your core value.

How about this as a core value... Be the best in your industry to meet the need of your customers for the product or service you're offering.

What does that mean?

That means, that you recognize that you are not always going to be able to offer exactly what your potential customer needs at any given moment. Sometimes your competitor will. You face the question, do I try to change (persuade) the customer to fit what I have to offer or do I change myself/company to fit their need.

It's all about your focus. What your core value is.

If your focus is on your customer, you will have no problem referring them to the competition if in that particular instance they can better meet the need of the customer. Why, because that's part of your core value. Will the customer become overwhelmed with appreciation and send their family and friends to do business with you because of that? Probably not.

That's the Hollywood hype.

It's a good business practice, because it keeps your focus in the right place. That is, be the best at meeting the need, not making money. Meet the need, and the money will follow.

Miracle on 34th Street Marketing.


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