Earth to marketing: customers don’t want to be “acquired”

targetbackThey also don’t want to be “targets” that get “managed,” “controlled,” “owned” or “locked in” as if they were cattle or slaves.

Mostly what they want are good products and services from companies that give  good reasons to trust them and buy from them. And, after they buy the goods or sign the contract, they want to be treated well when updates are required or when things go wrong.

And when things go very wrong, they want to deal with human beings who can fix the problem.

They also don’t want anything that puts a burden on them, even if it’s a “loyalty” program with discounts or rewards. There are too many of those already, and each of them a cognitive overload that’s also operational overhead for the seller.

Earn loyalty from what you do best. Your customers will take care of the rest. All have mouths, and word will spread.

Yes, marketing  matters, but not as much as what Peter Drucker said long ago: the purpose of a business is to make and keep a customer.

If you do that well, you won’t need advertising, SEM, SEO, CRM or other 3-letter acronyms to make it happen. Those are good-to-haves, but they are just gravy on the meat and potatoes of products, services and treatment of customers.

A earlier version of this post appeared (using the first person voice) in @Medium.


  1. Yes, that is true. I agree with you
    Each buyer, including we do not want to be treated like a buffalo tied up (sorry if the imagery is not appropriate).
    But we want to be appreciated. Rewarded by getting quality goods, satisfactory after sales service as well as assistance if there is a problem with the products we buy
    I think, every seller should understand this
    Thank you

  2. It’s normal, customers don’t want to be acquired. But they want to feel like they are the ones who decide in the relationship with the product or service provider. If marketers manage to create this perception, they are winners. Otherwise they just look the customers leaving their money in other stores.

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