Lovely Marsha from XFM likes music. That is probably the understatement of the year. To give you an idea of her relationship with music, this is a recent line from her weekly-mailer:
Yesterday morning, as I got into my taxi home after the night shift, the driver was listening to Radio 4. Out of courtesy, I said “Do you mind if I put my headphones on?” (cos I wanted to listen to the new Field Music). The driver lowered his eyebrows and said “You’ve just spent five hours listening to music – and you want to listen to *more music?”
I looked at him, in much the same way as I imagine you would have, and said, “It’s my oxygen”.
Then I listened to “In Context” and pondered on how different people can be.
Marsha creates a weekly mail-out that talks about the music she’s been listening to that week, the gigs she’s been to (and the one’s she promoted on-air) and other entertaining things that she wants to share with her listeners. It’s chatty, friendly and passionate and it pops in your inbox once a week. It also serves to increase the connections recipients have about Marsha and probably drives loyalty to her. It also marks her out against all the other passioante music DJs out there. I’m absolutely sure that none of these are reasons that she does it, but these will naturally be some of the results.
It’s a perfect example of well-targeted CRM, something that most companies are bloody awful at. That’s because in consumer’s minds they dislike getting things from evil, faceless companies but absolutely love getting things from real people. This is one of the reason’s why blogging is so well received. Through a blog (even one from a company) you feel that a person is sharing things with you. If you have bought into them as a person, you’re happy to receive marketing messages from them, because you’ve built up some trust.
In marketing nirvana, product managers hope that ‘brands’ and their values can build these kinds of relationships too. It’s bloody difficult to think of many companies that have achieved it. What I don’t understand is that actually they don’t really need to bother, they just need to get a passionate person, like a Marsha, to help build those relationships for them.