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What Kobe the Labrador taught me about marketing

By March 26, 2012No Comments

Our Labrador Kobe is six months old; we’ve had him since he was 15 weeks.

My husband and I were convinced that if we were going to be pet owners of a big dog, the dog would have to be well trained.

Let’s just say leash training a puppy is not for the faint of heart.

When we first brought him home, I enjoyed frequent morning walks. I had just finished my first four-mile walk in ages and was excited about keeping up this new pace. No such thing would be while leash training a new puppy.

I cut my walks short because the whole process frustrated me. He wasn’t enjoying it and neither was I.

It wasn’t too long before I quit going altogether.

I know, not a good thing.

Then I decided I wanted to regain that part of my life back. So we would go walking and it would be my way…period. I was in control and I dictated the walks. That worked maybe once or twice. Walking Kobe was still a headache.

Then finally today, I light bulb went off my in head.

Kobe’s bigger now and my husband has trained him to respond to whistle commands. Kobe can walk off leash and come when you call. He is true to his breed; he  loves puddles and chasing birds. He seems quite happy to splash around and frolic in the mud so I let him.

Don’t tell Cesar Milan but I let Kobe do what makes him happy first. He runs off leash, chases whatever catches his attention, and runs at full speed through puddles. We do that for a spell, then I put his leash back on and he and I have the most agreeable walk. We have no problems because I met his needs first.

As we were walking home I gave this a great deal of thought.

Isn’t marketing about making the consumer happy first? Meeting their need in exchange for profitability?

It goes back to the AMA’s definition of marketing which talks about a business providing value.

You simply can’t escape this truth.

Because I let Kobe take mud baths first, I  enjoyed a brisk walk with no tug-of-war with a rambunctious six-month old puppy.

Satisfy the customer first and the exchange is mutually beneficial.

Another added benefit? I’m able to write uninterrupted because Kobe the Labrador is fast asleep from all this morning’s activities; he’s not bringing me chew and pull toys to play with. He’s knocked out in the corner.

Providing value to your customer will net you similar results. Repeat business and referrals are just a few ways your customer can respond to your meeting their needs first.

So this marketing tip is brought to you by Kobe, our Labrador.

And yes he got an extra treat for being such a good boy this morning.

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