I take note when I encounter smart marketing.
I’m not talking about persuasive or manipulative marketing techniques. I’m not impressed by those. In fact, quite the opposite, that’s the quickest way to lose me as a customer.
What I am referring to is marketing that’s effective AND respects and rewards the customer or prospect.
Recently I was the recipient of such marketing.
I thought I’d share it to highlight it as a great example of what TO do, and to inspire others to market in ways that not only serve their business, but also their potential customers.
Camp Bow Wow’s Free Trial
A few weeks ago my husband and I attended a local street faire. Since we have a new puppy, we were drawn to a booth from a local dog daycare and boarding business. They had a sign-up sheet to win a free day of doggie daycare. Our puppy Hope loves to socialize with other dogs, so we signed up.
A few days later we received an email… we had won the free day. When we called to follow up we were told we’d need to bring Hope in for an interview (to make sure she would get along with the other dogs and to provide proof she has received all her vaccinations). They also said she’d be able to stay all day if we wanted (this was NOT her free day… it was just a prep for the free day).
The day before our scheduled interview, I received both telephone and email reminders.
The email reminder even included a link that put the appointment on my calendar! Upon arrival for the interview, they took Hope’s picture, had her meet a few dogs (she passed with flying colors) and gave me a complete tour of the facility, explaining all their procedures for keeping the dogs safe and well cared for, whether you board for the day or overnight. The owners also spent a few minutes chatting with me before I left, while we watched Hope playing with the other dogs on the Camper Cam video feed they feature in their lobby. They also informed me I could watch her on their website, or via an app I could download on my iPhone.
When I picked up Hope later that afternoon, I received a certificate complete with her picture and verifying she had passed her interview and was now approved to play or board at any Camp Bow Wow location across the country. I was given several discount coupons and reminded I could drop off Hope any weekday for her free day—no appointment necessary (could they make it any easier?).
I also received a folder with a bumper sticker, several brochures, educational materials about several dog health issues, her own Camp Bow Wow name tag on her leash, and a handwritten report card from her certified camp counselor advising me how her day went.
I left with a pooped-out pup and a positive experience.
The next morning I received a follow-up phone call from the owner asking how Hope was doing and reminding me I could bring her back for her free day anytime. I also discovered they had posted several photos of Hope on their Facebook page (they must know dog owners love seeing pics of their pups!) By the way, an out-of-state doggie daycare we visited in May (and loved) asked us to Like their Facebook page and told us to look for pic’s of Hope… a month later I’m still waiting for those photos to be posted!
Camp Bow Wow didn’t just ask me to Like their Facebook page.
They gave me a reason to go to their website (to check out the Camper Cam and see MY dog) and while there I saw their Facebook button and clicked through. While I’m not a huge social media fan (if you’ve read my book you know why) I have always advocated that if you’re going to use social media for marketing it’s crucial to give people a reason to follow you rather than simple ask them to.
To say I was impressed with Camp Bow Wow’s level of customer service is almost an understatement.
In this day and age of automation and computers, so many businesses have lost sight of the power of the personal touch. Clearly these owners, and this franchise have not.
Not only did they offer a free day to try out their facility, they fully indoctrinated me and my dog into their family and system. We haven’t even used the free day we won at the street faire yet and I’ve already had a great experience.
It’s a great example of smart marketing.
As a marketer myself, I almost wanted to ask if they awarded everyone who entered at the street faire a free day of puppy play. But I figured I’d let them keep that secret to themselves. Whether we really did win, or that’s how they treat everyone who shows an interest in their facility (that would almost be MORE impressive) really doesn’t matter. What matters is how they treated us and our precious pup.
How can you employ this kind of smart marketing in your business?
How can you share this level of customer service with not only your paying clients, but also your prospects? How can you introduce potential clients to you and your business in a way that creates a positive relationship and gets them talking about you? How can you add personal touches to make a stronger connection with your clients… to make them feel appreciated?
Have you been impressed by smart marketing?
If so I’d love to hear about it. My mission is to educate and inspire business owners to market with integrity and respect, so we can eliminate manipulative marketing techniques. So, please post a comment and share.
And lastly, if you want more inspiration, watch this interview with the Camp Bow Wow founder, on The Big Idea.
MSH Blog Creator and Chief Blogger Debbie LaChusa spent 25 years in the marketing industry and became so frustrated with its “be more, do more, have more” mentality that she began speaking out about it. She wrote a book entitled Breaking the Spell: The Truth about Money, Success, and the Pursuit of Happiness and created The Money Success Happiness Blog, all in an effort to help others learn how to stop chasing money, success, and happiness and instead discover the true path to a happy, healthy, wealthy life and business.