All marketers love the LTV metric and I need not go into all the ways it is better to keep a customer than have to gain a new one.
I use many online SaaS (software as a service) tools to do my job. Some I love, some I don’t. They all reach out with emails about how to best use their tools/services. Some focus on case examples of other customers hoping it will inspire me to use their tool more. Some focus on the company’s philanthropic efforts so I feel that by being a customer I am also making the world a better place. The past two examples are what I call 2015 brand normal. There isn’t anything in their tactic that is bad or pushing the envelope or trying to be edgy. They are using current norms to communicate their value to customers. The creepy one came in this week. I get an email from a creative service I use. In the email the person says “I noticed you recently created a design in XXXX but never got a chance to share/download it. We are wondering why?”. I understand that when I am using an online service the company that is hosting it can tell what I have been doing. But we don’t talk about it. It is that big brother, matrix style observation we both know is going on. It is like an unspoken do not ask, do not tell. The service is one I use to create many concepts and drafts before I complete one and download it – so the one in question was nothing out my normal pattern of usage so why the email? What purpose did it serve their brand? I am already a customer and have been using the tool weekly for over a year. As Scott Stratten said in one of his earlier talks, “There is no such thing as a neutral brand interaction. You either improve or hurt it.” This was definitely a hurt moment. Will it change my recommendation of the tool to friends? No, but friends that work in sensitive industries (banking, pharma) – yes it will.