Understanding What Your Customers Want

by Dave Ivy

I thought I’d share a little experience we’ve had with a computer manufacturer over the past few years. I was reminded of this by a piece of Direct Mail that came through yesterday, something I threw in the bin without even looking at. Why, I hear you say?

Put simply, it started with their email marketing. They used to send us emails at least once a week, sometimes twice a week and at first, we were glad to receive them. We’ve always bought their kit for the office – High-spec machines and laptops for the staff and some test servers for the developers. The number of machines we’ve bought over 9 years has been considerable for a small company – around 150 in total so with this in mind, you’d think they would be sending us offers about the new thin laptops, or perhaps multi-core servers. Maybe even the multimedia range, great for gamers but thanks to their multimedia power, good for power users too, right? Well, no.

Every communication that came through was advertising a cheap ‘dumb terminal 259 pounds’ type offer. No laptops, no design-spec machines, nothing over 300 pounds in fact so nothing ‘powerful’ enough for us to use. Imagine this in a showroom scenario: CUSTOMER: ‘Hi, I’d like to buy a 5-door saloon car with V6 engine and all the trimmings please’ SALESMAN: ‘No problem Sir. Here’s a lovely little hatchback we have, only 3-doors with wind-up windows and an engine that wouldn’t pull a fart but it’s really cheap’ CUSTOMER: ‘Erm, no thanks – can you just tell me about the more powerful models please’ SALESMAN: ‘Certainly Sir. Here’s a lovely little hatchback we have…’ and so on. You get the picture.

So dear computer manufacturers, if you’re reading this, please feel free to subscribe me to your list, as long as you tell me about hi-spec machines and direct the emails with the 259 pound desktop calculators to my mum.