Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Talladega Days and Nights

Beginning today and continuing through Monday, I will be posting blogs from Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

I am here on behalf of a client who sponsors a race team on the ARCA series. I will be focusing on the sights and sounds of NASCAR, its applications as a marketing platform and lessons we can take as marketing professionals.

Right now, it’s 5:45am. At this hour, you'd think everything would be quiet. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There is so much activity, and to get the full experience, I've decided to camp in the infield of the track. It’s a great view, but there is a catch. Once you enter the infield with your vehicle, you can’t leave until after Sunday’s race.

What does that mean? It means the local grocery stores were very crowded when I was there at 3:30 this morning.

One could easily expect the staff of these businesses to be rather anxious, flustered and perhaps even unprofessional at times given the increase of customers in the wee hours of the morning. I was quite surprised when the grocery store I went to chose to be proactive in their approach to customer service.

The store had the feel of a retail establishment. A team of employees greeted shoppers at each entrance. They shook hands, welcomed folks, and engaged in small talk. Staff floated in the aisles, maintaining the dialogue established at the door, and offering assistance in locating items. Their approach reminded me of Kelley's in Charleston, WV, with its personal shoppers helping customers select the perfect suit.

The tactic was very effective. Customers felt at ease despite the large crowds, early hours and fatigue.

If marketing is creating an environment in which sales can flourish, customer service is one very important way of controlling/maintaining that environment.

Something to think about.

Posted by Emily Bennington on behalf of Jim Nester

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