Customers Rock!

A blog about customers, their experiences, and how businesses can make sure their customer experiences rock!

Advertising Trends – It is All About You

Posted by Becky Carroll on April 28, 2008

 Something different drove past us this weekend here in the San Diego area: a Safeco-sponsored truck with a moped, cello, and chair on pedestals.  Not just a picture of these things, but the actual objects.  It certainly caught my eye, and we snapped a quick shot of it with a cell phone (yes, the text in the photo is in Spanish – the other side was in English, but we would’ve had to run into traffic to get that one!).

I have noticed more and more advertising, from television to radio to mobile billboards touting the ability for customers to make it personal.  I grew up on “Have it Your Way at Burger King” jingles, so this may not seem new.  Here at Customers Rock!, we always encourage companies to customize their offerings (in the most efficient way, of course).  My observation is that companies are finally starting to see this as a differentiator and are advertising it.

However, it won’t really make the desired impact unless the customer knowledge gained from working on personalizing products and services is used to improve the customer’s experience – leading to a longer relationship.  In a slowing economy, the strength of these relationships will help companies weather the difficult times.  Not slick ads (although this truck really did look pretty cool!).

What do you think?

(Photo credit: T. Carroll)


6 Responses to “Advertising Trends – It is All About You”

  1. Dan Ness said

    Safeco must be targeting San Diego with their latest campaign.
    Last weekend, they had a stand at the Encinitas Street Fair.
    Their display had an even clearer “it’s all about you” approach. They offered free photos – you, your family photos, you and your dog, whatever. Nobody seemed to be nibbling, though, even though the fair was busy and many other stands were crowded. Maybe people’s unwillingness had something to do with the photo background.
    It was plastered with “Safeco”. Yeah, just what I want in my photo.
    That’s where they probably missed it – not paying attention to what their customers want and instead pushing their ad messages out and out.
    Maybe if they had people sit in that funky moped, cello, chair, truck thing, at least it might look like some avant-garde image?
    I suppose it’s worth giving Safeco marketing folks a break, though, since it’s in the middle of an acquisition by Liberty Mutual and who knows which marketers will be left standing…

  2. Dan, interesting observation on Safeco! They got close to getting it right by doing the photos, but the logos in the background – yuk. They could have carefully watermarked the corner of the photo…

    You are right, we should go a little easy on Safeco; they haven’t directly marketed to consumers for years!

    Thank you for the comment, Dan!

  3. Bill said

    I not only think that the strength of their personal relationships will help companies, but the strength (or lack thereof) will be more evident during these slow times. When it’s slow, you can see those companies that have built something instead having us default to our instinct of the lowest price.

  4. Bill, you are right – in slower times, one of the best ways to stay away from the price discussion is to have a strong relationship with customers. This economy will definitely start to reveal who has a solid customer base and who has been playing the “I’m cheaper” game.

  5. Brent Applegate said

    We’ve been learning in our Marcom class that creativity involved both originality and applicability. Too me, this ad brings in something very original but I don’t exactly see the applicability. Neat concept, though! I would hate to see what would happen if THIS truck ever had a wreck! Aye Caramba!

  6. Brent, thanks for commenting! This type of mobile advertising isn’t new, I just haven’t seen it around a lot (Ikea has also done it – check out their vendor GoMobile Advertising to see other examples). It is definitely eye-catching, though!

    Funny – hadn’t considered what a wreck with this truck would look like… could definitely be a mixed-up melody.

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