Stop the crummy commercials

Watching the movie A Christmas Story during this Christmas season has reminded me how important having a meaningful dialogue with your customers can be.

You’ll remember in the 1983 movie Ralphie drinks gallons of Ovaltine and patiently awaits his Little Orphan Annie decoder pin so that he can unscramble the message only meant for Little Orphan Annie Secret Society members. After excitedly writing down the secret code from the radio program, Ralphie escapes to decode the message in the only place where a kid can get some privacy…the bathroom. Ralphie decodes the message: “BE SURE TO DRINK YOUR OVALTINE” after which he disappointedly exclaims:

Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a b****!

Marketers can learn a lot from Ralphie’s experience.

When you have your customer’s trust and approval for a two-way conversation, don’t revert back to more monologue!(self-serving, crummy commercials) Effective marketers know that having a meaningful dialogue with their customers is what builds a strong connection to their brand. True dialogue should create value for both the marketer and the customer. In order to do this, marketers need to do three things:

  1. Listen more than you speak
  2. Understand the customer’s point of view from a micro level (see point 1)
  3. Turn off the corporate conversation “firewall” to allow authentic and interesting conversation to reach the customer

Customers are begging to have meaningful conversations with brands they love and trust. Please, please, please…stop with the “crummy commercials”!


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