Article

ENGAGEMENT always counts!

ENGAGEMENT always counts!

This article emphasizes on the need to work on micro-engagements!

RECAP:

A micro-market is a curated set of target clients. Micromarketing is a strategy where marketing efforts focus on a narrow set of target clients; all activities are defined by and for this set. An engagement is a connection between you and your micro market.

This time, with two real-life incidents put together to underline a key point.

Engage. Execute!

LINEN LOVE AND CUSTOMER ADVOCACY

Linen. It is one of those things where you crave for something. There’s no apparent reason but you’ve got to have it. Now! This is an episode from my travel journeys!

That’s how it was for me with linen one December morning in 2014. I was transiting through the city of Coimbatore in December, on a family holiday. I asked my in-laws to recommend stores where I could buy some linen cloth and they mentioned, I should check out the Ramraj store in the RS Puram area. We had only one day in Coimbatore, so we went to the shop first thing that morning.

I loved the cloth, the colours and the textures and finalised a few that I liked. The shop assistant was about to cut the cloth when my wife said, “STOP.” The whole shop came to a standstill and the manager Saravanan walked over to my wife and asked what the issue was.

My wife, Anu, was clear that I would buy the pieces of cloth but would never have the time to get them custom stitched. The cloth would remain in my cupboard, gathering dust!

Valid point.

Saravanan though told her that if this was the only problem then he had a solution. He said that he could have a tailor come over right now, measure me up and get it stitched into a shirt to my design specifications.

Anu was open-jawed and silent for a while! This particular shop only sells readymade garments and cloth by the metre for custom stitching.

She told Saravanan that we are here only for a day and would leave that evening and she asked how it would be possible.

He calmly told her that the tailor was on his way, asked Anu for the train timing and told her that all the four pieces would be ready two hours before the train departs.

Still in disbelief, Anu looked at me. I was entrepreneur ready to take a risk and see how it shaped out. I gave the measurement; my design quirks and we went off to see the city.

In six hours, Saravanan called me and said that the custom stitched shirts were ready for me to collect!

Saravanan, went above and beyond the call of duty, addressed the pain point and provided a solution to win a customer for life.

Till date, whenever I travel to the city of Coimbatore, I drop into this store, select the cloth, and leave for my speech/workshop. This Ramraj Store facilitates stitching and couriers the finished product to my office in Chennai!

As a public speaker, I talk about the Ramraj and Saravanan story on all platforms as a classic case of from-within marketing to provide value addition and exceed customer satisfaction.

Questions:

  1. What is your client’s ultimate need (the need of the client’s client)?
  2. What value addition can you provide?
  3. Who forms a part of your influencer base and decision-making sphere?
  4. Have you empowered your team to take decisions for the benefit of the customer? 

A PERSONAL TOUCH

Chemicals being injected into food stuff, apples being waxed to look more shiny, fertilizers messing up the entire food chain…

Such news is prevalent and true. It is a real cause of concern.

Radha, mother of two, decided to take action. She started looking for options to source vegetables directly from farms that practice optimised organic farming. Her search led her to MyHarvest farms, a start-up working with farmers. She reached out to the founder Archana and had a long chat. Their model is simple. Grow what your area is used to growing; don’t bring in fancy vegetables that are the fad of the season. They worked with farmers, using technology to plan the crop cycles and identify which seeds to be planted. Then they worked with the clients, finding out their dietary preferences, family size, frequency of purchase and advising a suitable package to them. MyHarvest decided to start small and picked one micro market for farmers and for the clients. Once the model was streamlined, they expanded and now cover over 500 clients. Every week, a MyHarvest representative comes home and delivers a cloth bag full of vegetables for a week and takes back the bag given last week.

This post is not about their operating model but about their personal touch. When Radha finalised the subscription with MyHarvest, along with the receipt, she received a long, handwritten letter from the founder Archana. The letter thanked us for choosing them and the environment, explained how the model works and associated flexibility. She wrote about their plans for the future and the seasonality of vegetables. Her number was clearly mentioned as a direct contact in case of a specific query. For everything else, their support number was given. The letter ended with a request: “If you like our service and the quality of vegetables, please introduce MyHarvest to friends like you.”

Personal, direct, and clear communication. Definitely touching, and the way of the future.

A small handwritten note.

That’s what I received when I ordered a shaving product on Amazon. A shaving brush, that’s what I bought. Yeah, I am into grooming and may fall into the segment of a metrosexual.

I keep experimenting with a lot of products, narrow down to a few that work and then recommend it to my bunch of friends.

I ordered this brush and it arrived. I opened the packaging to find a handwritten note from the founder, thanking me for the purchase.

I read it once more and then that became the talking point in conversations. A thank you note.

Also attached with it was a sampler for a shaving cream. A hook that I shall try out with a smile.

Every little counts.

Every touchpoint works.

Some try, some buy.

Some buy and talk about it.

Both these examples are from my personal experiences; here I am, talking about it to you. Coaxing you to take a micro marketing approach with a personal touch. 

ACTIVITY:

      1. List down all potential personal touch points with your clients.
      2. How can you add a personal touch, consistently?

This the tenth article in "The Micro Marketer" series by Pravin Shekar, an Outlier Marketer.

The article series flow:

  1. The first article laid the foundation for what a micro market is.
  2. How to DEFINE a micro market?
  3. How to FORM a micro market?
  4. The need to be curious, at all times – and ASK.
  5. How to identify the right problem/pain-point?
  6. Why to micro-network?
  7. What to Ideate on?
  8. Solutionizing!
  9. Experimentation.

About the Author

Pravin Shekar is an outlier marketer, parallel entrepreneur, and a raconteur.

If you want to shake up your marketing strategy OR discuss your micro marketing plan, write to Pravin at outlier@pravinshekar.com