This photo is from one of my favorite authors and artists Hugh MacLeod.
I agree that everything is marketing. Every part of your business is marketing your company. It says something about the DNA of who you are and what you value.
When I walked onto campus a year and a half ago at the University of Iowa for orientation I didn’t feel valued. I didn’t feel present. I felt like I was just another piece of their giant organization. I felt they didn’t really care about me, but only cared about how great they look, which by making me not feel important said nothing but bad things to me. The University has a ton of great things going for it, but as any large organization you have to realize that everything is marketing who you are. Every student, every professor, every advisor everything is marketing the University of Iowa, only the outsider gets to realize if that’s good or bad.
The same goes for political campaigns. If I have a bad interaction with a politician, than I’m less likely to buy his (or her) product, which is a vote for them. If I have positive interactions with that politician or someone in their family, then I am more likely to buy their product. For politicians this also goes for those surveys. One week in July I received about four phone calls from one specific campaign. The machine assured me they needed me to answer a quick five question survey. The same survey I had already done the first time. The four phone calls were a huge mistake on their marketing team, and completely lost my vote (like I was going to vote for Him anyway). I started thinking more about this call and what it said to me is many negative things about this politician. It said that they fail to count off who already did the survey and are possibly counting me twice, which then makes me think how many other people did this survey multiple times. Are they really an accurate surveys? Do they really care about my time, which I value very highly, since they are asking me to do another survey. Does it cost them for every phone call? If it does, than this is a waste of money, and why would I put someone in office that can’t even manage campaign money well.
Maybe a positive story? I couldn’t figure out my router for the life of me when we first moved into our home back in March. I finally got over my manly pride and called the customer support for my Belkin Router. I spent about an hour on the phone with a couple different employees who helped me solve my problems. I thought the accent sounded Indian so I made a little chit chat about India, as I was there in January. Their wonderful customer service says a lot about Belkin to me. Yes, they outsource, but they do it well, and I received great service from them. When I now have the choice of Belkin versus Linksys or any other router I will choose Belkin, because this service was great marketing of their product to me.
The best marketing a company can ask for is great customer service. I wish more companies, campaigns, non-profits, and other organizations would realize this as well.