"Take it sir, this is the best choice in the range you desire, and it's probably the last piece we have."
It's the statement that we hear almost every time we go to purchase anything, isn't it?
And how many times we buy that "mystical last piece" which never ends for its next customer? I mean every time a new customer comes, the piece regenerates itself on the shelf.
Probably my comment is sarcastic, but that doesn't mean it isn't reflecting the truth. We all experience it in our day-to-day life. But, one thing that we don't realize is, we are getting habitual of it.
There was time when we use to buy what we desired, but now, it's the era of Marketers. Now marketers sell us what they want. They now have tactics to spell-bound customers in their communication (consider verbal and non-verbal) and drive their perception.
By hook or by crook, these guys are able to figure out the way to stimulate sales of their products. And that's all they are willing these days. Earlier it used to be just the marketing, now it has come up with verticals like experiential marketing, emotional marketing, Seasonal marketing, online marketing, Direct marketing, indirect marketing and what not. Everywhere it's just the marketing that we see.
Let's take a quick view of our life:
When you wake up, you turn on your FM/TV listen to some good music, and what you get free is, 'advertisement-marketing'.
Then you move on for your walk and everywhere on the roadside you see, is the 'print media-marketing'.
When you walk through the road you may listen to the announcements happening on loudspeakers: 'mass media-marketing'.
Then you go to the bank for your credit card payment, the bank associate will start with his 'consultative-marketing'.
When you go to a store to purchase a nice reasonable shirt with a budget of Rs. 1000, the sales person will try to his maximum strength to drag you to Rs. 2000 or more with the cross and up-marketing.
And when you pay, there will be credit card guys ready with their juices to fill you up. All these examples are not just it.
I have barely mentioned 0.1% of what happens in our daily life.
The brands have realized the importance of focusing their efforts on advertisements and marketing rather than just customer service, probably because they realize which one's easy to attain. Funny, isn't it?
Few of these 'dramatic' brands focus to create a buzz in customers' mind, but don't mind overlooking the quality-delivery. Their focus is selling to more customers, not on more selling to existing customers. So, at last the only sufferer left is the customer, who regrets the purchase throughout the life.
It becomes most annoying with the extremes of Marketing, when they target the audience with their most emotional approaches. They study the audience and find their weak points and attack on the same, similarly like the Guerrilla Warfare with the only difference- in most cases they don't harm you physically but off course monetarily. They have found a name for such tactics- "Guerrilla Marketing". It suits, doesn't it? LOL
Every day we see one or the other campaign through the advertisements which target the customers at their core beliefs. The limit of my patience gets tested when the marketers advertise themselves using their CSR activities. That's the point where the entire noble CSR concept becomes just a 'Marketing Gimmick'. In fact, they seem to be confused with the philanthropy and CSR.
Besides all the facts that I have stated above, it's undeniable that there are companies, and brands which focus more towards customer servicing than 'JUST' marketing and are leading in their product segments with a tag of "Unbeatable".
The concern is, just showing that "we care" is entirely different from doing the "actual care".
Further thinking on the same leaves me to the fact, "this is what a marketer is expected to do". This is their responsibility to run the business and maintain their presence in the customers' mind. But it seems incomplete, their aim is to create business opportunities, maintain existing ones and deliver superior results to the target community. But who's going to explain this to the marketers, there's no industry-specific "Marketing Rule-Book".
PS: I am not just stating the customers' view point nor am I against the marketers. I am just critical about the way few of them do the things.