I am in bed with some sort of flu at the mo. so catching up on a little reading (in between sleeping!).
In the Spring issue of the Marketing Society’s Market Leader magazine, David Cowan of Forensics, a strategic growth consultancy writes:
Marketing’s proximate mission must be to change customer behaviour – it is customer behaviour change that leads to top line growth. Changing customer behaviour is the link that connects the CEO and finance directors requirements with marketing.
Changing customer behaviour should be formally set as the header objective because it gives direction to the whole marketing enterprise.
Sorry David, I just can’t get with this at all.
Imagine you knew one of your suppliers had its objective to change your behaviour – what would your reaction be? I certainly know what mine would be and it is not suited to a family blog like this! As a customer, I have no interest in changing to suit a company’s needs – only to suit my own.
Indeed, I’ll go further. A responsive supplier would change it’s behaviour to meet my needs and aspirations not the other way round.
Of course, the best relationships are the result of conversation or co-creation. Change often takes place as part of this discussion – sometimes on one side only, but most successfully on both. Customer success (and the supplier’s long term aspirations) are won through dialog, understanding, education and common ground.
IMO they are never won through suppliers coaxing customers to do things that they neither want to do nor are in their longer term interests.
PS. I have mailed David about this post to give him the chance to respond in the comments.