I’m reading an outstanding book on marketing, The Hawke Method: The Three Principles of Marketing That Made Over 3,000 Brands Soar, by Erik Huberman. What intrigues me about the book is that Huberman talks from his point of view as an owner of a media company. In other words, he’s metaphorically “in the trenches,” doing what he preaches and teaches in the book for his clients, which include some of the most recognizable brands on the planet.
Even with all the marketing techniques available to us, I am still a believer that customer experience and customer service are significant drivers in getting customers to come back, and even more importantly, getting them to talk about you and your business. When you combine that with the three principles Huberman refers to in the book’s title, you have a winning combination that gets customers in the door, gets them to come back, and makes them want to talk about you to their friends, family and colleagues.
In Chapter Two, Huberman introduces us to The Marketing Tripod. Imagine a tripod where your company is at the top, and the three legs holding up that company (the tripod) represent three concepts: Awareness, Nurturing and Trust. These are the three principles that “made over 3,000 brands soar,” and he goes into detail about each one, devoting entire sections of the book to these three principles.
As I read the introduction to these principles, it made me think about incorporating customer service and experience into a marketing strategy. With that, here’s my take on these three powerful ideas:
Awareness is a popular word in marketing. It’s how you get people to notice your company and product. It can include advertising, social media campaigns and more. One of the concepts that fall into the category of “and more” but should be at the top of the list, is customer experience. This is what gets people to talk about you. When you provide an experience that stands out, your customers become aware that they are doing business at a special place. Give them that experience and they reciprocate with not only more business, but also word-of-mouth referrals.
Nurturing begins the moment the customer learns about your company and product and continues until they buy from you. Huberman writes that this is the element in marketing that is typically most misunderstood and overlooked. My take on this is that while there are plenty of ways to nurture your prospects, one of the most powerful is through customer service. Don’t think that customer service is a department that handles complaints. It’s much more than that, and it includes how every contact the customer has with your company and its people is managed, especially in the nurturing phase. Start by asking yourself, “How easy are we to do business with?” In short, nurture through an amazing customer experience.
Trust has actually become a marketing strategy over the years. Huberman mentions the Edelman study that found 75% of consumers won’t buy from a company they don’t trust. Our customer experience research found that 83% of customers trust a company or brand more if it provides an excellent CS experience. Great service builds trust. Trust creates confidence. Trust drives more sales and makes it easy for a customer to leave positive reviews and recommend you to friends, family and colleagues.
While I’m a big proponent that a good customer experience should be a big part of your marketing strategy, you first have to get the customer in the door, hence focusing on awareness and nurturing. From there, you want those customers to come back, which is more nurturing of the relationship and where trust comes into play.
Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Combining Huberman’s three principles with a product that does what it’s supposed to do and a great customer experience is a winning marketing strategy that works.