Make a Statement in 2014
If the cowards behind the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings believed they would forever strike terror in the hearts of Americans…then they picked the wrong country, the wrong city and the wrong sport to make their point.
The wrong country? Americans don’t back down from threats. As Afghan Taliban fighters learned the hard way, America’s armed forces “run toward our bullets.”
The wrong city? Hardscrabble Boston has kept the spirit of the American Revolution alive for nearly 250 years. There’s a reason why Boston can look New York City in the eye without blinking. Boston is a seasoned street-fighter.
The wrong sport? Distance runners fear nothing. They take on cars, dogs, darkness, cold, heat, physical pain and public ridicule. And they keep coming back for more.
Here’s what we might hope to see at the 2014 Boston Marathon as a result of this terrorist’s triple miscalculation: at least half a million people from around the nation and the world, running, walking, on bikes, in baby strollers and wheelchairs – most of them unregistered to run the race officially – who will clog the streets from Hopkinton to Boston not for hours, but for days.
Those 2014 Boston Marathon participants will be there next year to make a singular statement to all those who seek to hide behind violence:
“We are not afraid. Your cowardice only makes us stronger.”
Join me in Boston in April 2014. Let’s make a statement together.
The old marketing adage is that customers can either be brand ambassadors or brand terrorists, depending on how they’re treated.
Former Forrester Research analyst Bruce Temkin (now managing partner of Temkin Group) is a guru of the Customer Experience Management (CEM) discipline…and there are some interesting insights for marketers in Temkin Group’s Q1 2011 Customer Experience Survey, including this one:
Are traditional channels the best battleground to fight brand terrorists?
It appears as though customer terrorists are most likely to inflict brand damage in direct conversations with friends; either on the phone, through email or in person (63%), and it’s tough for companies to counter those assaults. In fact, Word-of-Mouth research firm Keller Fay Group estimates that 90% of all customer conversations about brands in the US – both positive and negative – happen offline.
From a defensive standpoint, a company’s greatest opportunity to address customer grievances occurs when they appeal directly to the company through phone calls, email, letters and website comments, which according to Temkin occurs about 34% of the time.
Despite all the buzz about the power of social media as a CEM tool, most customers are not spending much time complaining on Facebook(20%); on 3rd party opinion sites such as Yelp or TripAdvisor (11%); or on the darling of social media, Twitter (4%).
Perhaps all the social media hubbub – at least in part – serves as a convenient distraction for companies that have failed to deliver on the most widely used CEM channels: phone, chat and email? If you’re looking to convert customer terrorists into brand ambassadors, those channels still appear to be the best places to invest time and money.