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Newsletter: #973: The “Attention vs. Advocates” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

With so many marketers focused on getting as much attention as possible (whether it’s with click-baiting headlines, viral videos, or marketing stunts), one thing has been left by the wayside: creating a sense of belonging. And while cultivating those connections might take longer not be as cool as a fun ad campaign, it’s a much more sustainable, friendly way to do business.

Here are some ways companies are focusing on the deep connections — not just impressions:

1. It’s not about marketing stunts
2. It’s not about converting the competition
3. It’s not about the deal
4. Check it out: Pointless Diagrams

1. It’s not about marketing stunts

Whole Foods electric car parking

Photo thanks to Orthogonal Thought.

Whole Foods Market gives electric cars priority parking in some of their stores’ lots. It’s not earth shattering or expensive, and it doesn’t mean much to the majority of their customers. It’s just a decent parking spot. But to the customers with electric cars (who most likely share Whole Foods’ eco-conscious values), it’s a special recognition that helps them feel like a part of the same cause.

The lesson: A good parking spot isn’t going to make headlines, but it can absolutely make a customer feel special. How are you helping the customers who believe in your cause feel like a part of the team?

2. It’s not about converting the competition

Apple announced they’re now giving away all of the iWork and iLife apps they used to charge for on desktops and mobile devices. That means that with just a software update, their current customers can get some of Apple’s best products for nothing. If you’re working from a PC or you’re a hardcore Android owner, you probably don’t care. But Apple isn’t focused on converting their competitors’ customers. Instead, they’ve found ways to make the customers they already have fall deeper in love with their stuff.

The lesson: It’s less expensive and less frustrating to keep the customers you already have by treating them right instead of chasing after people who aren’t interested. What are you doing to make your customers want to stick with you?

Learn more: Apple

3. It’s not about the deal

Using AmazonSmile is just like shopping on Amazon, except the program donates 0.5 percent of your purchase price to a charity of your choice. The proceeds are small for each transaction and they’re not tax deductible — but that’s not the point. Even without directly benefiting the customer with a deal, AmazonSmile is giving them a great reason to keep shopping with them.

The lesson: Deep discounts and flash sales might attract some new customers, but they’ll rarely create loyal ones. Once you go back to regular pricing, those new customers might not stick around. AmazonSmile’s charitable giving offer is not only sustainable — it makes their customers feel good about each purchase. That’s something worth sticking around for.

Learn more: GeekWire

4. Check it out: Pointless Diagrams

check it out!

Photo thanks to Pointless Diagrams.

Josh Lewandowski believes “doodling useless stuff is extremely useful.” That’s why he set out to draw and share one nonsensical diagram a day.

Check it out: Pointless Diagrams

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