Villing & Company

The Two Most Powerful Words in Marketing

Contemporary marketing is complex and ever changing.  Just when we think we have the latest trends and techniques figured out, the rules of the game change.  But as I commented in a recent article, sometimes the more things change, they more they stay the same.  Perhaps there is no better example than the two words I believe are the most powerful in marketing.

Thank you.

I don’t mean to go all Pollyannaish on you and it’s not just that I am feeling the spirit of the Thanksgiving season.  It’s simply that the more I observe this profession, the more convinced I am that the simple act of saying “Thank You” is an incredibly powerful way to earn the loyalty of customers, industry partners and other stakeholders, far surpassing any clever turn of phrase or whiz bang new marketing fad. 

Take the simple act of sending a Thank You note.  Full disclosure, I am not as disciplined in this as I should be – especially in my private life.  Fortunately, I have a wife who is much better at this than I am.  But professionally, I do try to send notes of appreciation as often as I can – preferably of the handwritten, snail mail variety.  It’s old school.  It’s time-consuming.  And yet it’s amazing how often that simple gesture will resonate with the recipient.  In fact, one time I actually received a Thank You card for sending a Thank You card!

As I was preparing to write this blog, I did a little online research on the subject.  I stumbled on a website dedicated to “Appreciation Marketing.”  Who knew?  It was certainly not a term I had heard before but I love the concept.  It’s produced by a couple bloggers/speakers who simply refer to themselves as Tommy & Curtis.  After I complete this article, I want to read more about their theories. 

Of course, like most things in life, an act of appreciation has to be one based on sincerity.  How often have we received form letters saying thanks for our business in an impersonal and blatantly self-serving way?  As often as not, lack of sincerity is easy to detect in which case the action runs the risk of becoming counter-productive.

Perhaps this is why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  We all have so many blessings for which to be thankful.  As we think about them, most are probably personal in nature.  But when we consider our blessings in the context of our professional lives, there is likewise much for which to be grateful.  In my case, it is for all the incredible people I have encountered in my four decades in marketing.  Amazing colleagues.  Wonderful clients.  Kind and supportive service providers.  And a nurturing community in which to do business. 

So, in closing, on this eve of Thanksgiving, I would like to thank each and every one of you.  Have a wonderful holiday.  Be sure to let your loved ones know how much you appreciate them.  And most of all, give thanks for all of life’s blessings.

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