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It amazes me how some people and organizations succeed even when they screw up. Many of us at MarketingProfs have discussed the need for consistency in building a solid brand. When we exceed customer expectations, we score. But what about those who don't walk the talk. How do they stay in business?

Case in point - a CPA I know. He's very good at marketing his business: sending regular e-newsletters, hosting social events, advising clients of tax changes, deadlines, etc. Yet, I'm in the market for a new accountant. Why? He doesn't get back to me in a timely fashion and sometimes needs a second contact before following up. His e-mail responses are ambiguous. I feel like an imposition. I even referred a friend who experienced the same thing. What good is the informative newsletter and the after work food if the service sucks?
Case #2. I went to to find a local tennis league I could join. I found something promising and e-mailed a question. The reply came in the same day, but here's what it says:
We group players of similiar skill levels by their zip codes in order to limit drives as much as possible. Our goal is to make the league as convenient and fun as possible. Thanks.
Best regards,
XXXXX Tennis League
Sponsored by [major sports company]

The first thing I noticed is that the administrator didn't use his/her name in the e-mail signature. Does that sound fun and welcoming to you? Seems very distant and unfriendly to me. Secondly, where's the "thank you" for contacting them? How about a call to action or a link to the registration page or a simple, "I hope you join us. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have other questions."
Almost every week, I encounter missed opportunities on the part of businesses, people and organizations. They succeed in spite of themselves. Maybe I'm just tuned into this stuff as a marketer, but it just seems like common sense is often lost.
What do you think? Is it me?

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image of Elaine Fogel

Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC, and a marketing and branding thought leader, speaker, writer, and MarketingProfs contributor. She is the author of the Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success.

LinkedIn: Elaine Fogel

Twitter: @Elaine_Fogel