Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why a $3.50 Nonfat White Mocha with Whip Makes My Morning

Most of us are creatures of habit. We wake up to the automated aroma of our Costa Rican breakfast roast, the feeling of the our dog's slober upon our brow or my soon to be wake-up call from the nursery. These are things that define our mornings; let's call this series of events micro-actions. Why micro? If you bundled up the things that you did prior to leaving the house; they are all planned and scheduled on a timeline that is strung together in order to get you to where you need to go each morning. So your major actions are:

1. Leaving the house
2. Getting to work
3. Compiling that marketing report
4. Eating your lunch
5. Finishing the meeting
6. Getting home
7. Going to bed

Not to sound so mundane, but these tend to be the most common major actions within a day. Between each of these are many micro-actions. Make sense? Please let me know if this sounds crazy, but I'm going out on a theoretical limb, where most marketers shudder to think.

If each of these micro-actions leads us to some milestone action, how can you associate this to marketing and a $3.50 Nonfat White Mocha with Whip? Here's how. Every morning I perform the following string of activities between "Leaving The House" and "Getting To Work":

1. Place my things strategically so they don't slide around the car.
2. Tune my radio to my favorite radio station
3. Take the same route
4. Stop at the Solana Beach Coffee Company for my Nonfat White Mocha with Whip.
5. I'm a regular, they know what I want. (There's an expectation and maybe because I'm in the Gen Y demographic, a Digerati, etc. or maybe not)

This interaction each morning with this business is a crucial micro-action between a series of major actions that create the timeline for the rest of my day. If that is thrown off at all, it could create some chaos in the predictable nature of my morning. Something would need to take the place of that micro-action. Solution ...

This morning I stop, walk in and I'm told that their espresso machines are getting maintenance and they didn't send them out in time and the holiday threw everything off. This micro-action is about to be replaced ... They then apologize and present me with a "Free Mocha" card :) Now you can guarantee they understand the value of my loyalty and meeting my expectations. What they don't quite see right off the bat is the "micro-action marketing" they are performing by giving me the free mocha card. You could call this blog post Word of Mouth marketing, Conversational Marketing, but in the scheme of my whole day, they kept my timeline in tack and in fact exceeded my expectations as a small business.

So is micro-action marketing something of value? Yes and no. Yes, be aware of how customers currently experience your product, service, event or location. Plan ahead for their expectations and you've achieved successful micro-action marketing that ignites word of mouth marketing and the feedback loop that most businesses are currently trying to be a part of.

Thanks Solana Beach Coffee Company for my free mocha ;)

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