It’s an interesting perspective; traveling and marketing. For me, it’s fun and exciting to see how different brands communicate in different ways; how personal touches are important while others appeal to the masses. My recent adventure to Napa Valley left a great impression on my thoughts about personal touches and how crucial they are to relationship building.
If you are never been, Napa Valley (and that part of California) is a haven for wine drinkers. Wineries large and small line main streets, side roads and yes, even in the mountainside. I hardly call myself an avid wine drinker, but it was a bucket list item that could be crossed off in conjunction with a long weekend in San Francisco. I enjoyed the history lessons of the trip (and has some great tastings along the way).
Despite joining wine clubs, learning about grapes (growing, harvesting, etc.) and the occasional stop for a loaf of bread. I was pleased to realize that this trip helped me rediscover the importance of relationships. Unique to my own opinions, here are a few keynotes to pass along -
- Listen. From the Uber driver to the marketing manager; anytime you can get down time with someone one on one, ask them where they are from – then listen. The most fascinating stories are about the retired CEO of a company turned to Uber driver because he would rather be out than sitting on the couch or how college graduation trips have turned into a love for the city, job offer and meeting of that special someone. You already know your own story, listen to how others got to where they are today (this also allows for relatable and unique storytelling during meetings, presentations, engagements).
- Hire Passion, Train Skill. There is nothing better than have contact with a person who truly loves what they do. It is not a trainable skill but a fire from within that allows for a radiance and boastfulness. As I get older, I have noticed a large difference between those who are working at a job from others who are working towards a career. It’s not a trait rather than a sense of pride.
- Get Personal. On my trip, I came across several wineries that were by invitation only or had limited reservations. At first, I was a little frustrated that that instant gratification wasn’t there. Instant gratification quickly changed once we were in the moment as the process of: book online, confirmation e-mail, arrive, stay an hour, leave, was more obvious. Thankfully I had recommendations from friends as to places that were a must see and no online booking process. These visits were not about the cost of wine, wine club list review or mass touches. They were about intimacy; access to the property, culture, personnel and overall experience.
- Be Welcoming. There are few worse things (in my mind) than feeling unwelcome. A warm greeting, timely follow up or handshake usually does the trick. I know this isn’t for everyone, but I feel a sense of happiness when being hugged good bye from leaving somewhere; especially by someone you've just met. I understand this isn’t appropriate in all settings but it is the extra feeling of gratification and sense offamily.
- Timing Really Does Matter. When we migrated back to San Francisco for the tail end of our trip I found myself very pleased for a team member of the hotel to knock on our door ten minutes after checking in to ensure our room was to our liking. Those small touches make all the difference; they are memorable and worth sharing.
These bullet points are obvious tools, especially in marketing. The fact that superior customer service exists is a reassuring mindset and can be used for continuous education; learn from it, talk about what works for you then execute it in a way that leaves an impression.