Friday, 31 August, 2007

Who do we send the cake to?

Meet any B2B marketing manager and about the second thing he tells you is that he wants to do CRM with his customers.

“What exactly?”

“Send cakes and cards on birthdays. Take the relationship to the next level. There’s so much you can do…”

(To yourself) “Can’t think of one thing I want any of my vendors and suppliers to do for me except do my work, and not overcharge me – but maybe I’m ultra-professional.”

(To him) “Of course, of course, there’s so much one can do.”

“Yes, but you see the problem is that we don’t know who to send the cake to. The person who books the call may be just a flunkey, with no say in the decision. We want to reach out to the decision makers and influencers (with cakes). We have to do the ‘mapping’.”

And so it goes on.

While you wonder what stops them for doing the far easier job of sending B2B offers and deals, which, if they are meaningful, should land up on decision-makers’ desks.

Then you realise you are seeing a replay of one of our favourite excuses: Because the impossible cannot be achieved, the obvious shouldn’t be attempted.

We Indians are great at ‘change at the grassroots’ and ‘rethinking the entire structure’. No doubt these are necessary. But what are to do till we do these? Twiddle our thumbs?

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