Ever managed or maintained a fire in a hearth or campfire?
If you’ve managed to get a fire going, then you know that continually feeding it is the best way to keep it going. The flame never stops, so you never have to relight the fire. This, of course, requires frequent attention and care.
Somewhat harder is restarting a fire from hot coals or embers. As long as you’ve got tinder, kindling, and fuel, you can get it going again with less effort than starting a fire from scratch. Letting a fire die down to coals and then relighting it lets you take some time off from it to go do other things, but does require you to check in and rebuild it.
The hardest is restarting a fire that’s gone cold. You’re basically building a brand new fire, with all of the difficulty that entails. When you go to sleep overnight, often you’re faced with a cold fire pit in the morning – when you need the fire most, when its warmth and utility would be most comforting. The chill you feel is the price of negligence.
Companies and marketers are no different.
If you take great care of your customers, giving them frequent attention and service, then you never have to worry about the fire dying out.
If you only take good care of your customers, then you have to relight from the embers, which requires more marketing resources to get the flames burning again.
If you take poor care of your customers, then you’re starting from scratch – and the chill you feel won’t just be your customers, but the emptiness of your coffers when your company needs the profits most.
How cold does your company let its fires get?
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This also sounds like a warning against getting spread too thin and losing sight of what’s important.