Saturday, 10 November 2007

Building Local Relationships

The other day I was invited to a friends birthday party at a fancy bowling alley in the city. Looking at the website, the venue seemed straightforward to find.

Following the directions as best as I could, I stuggled to find the venue. AFter a while of walking around aimlessly i decided to go try a number of bars and shops in the vicinity and asked for directions. Nobody I spoke to seemed to have any idea where this place was. I tried phoning some of me fellow bowlers only for phones to go straight to answerphone. After about an hour, I decided to head home.

Now from a marketing persepctive, this organisation fell at the last hurdle. It has done all the hard work by attracting the customer with a website and by providing a good experience leading to referral marketing via word of mouth.

Modern businesses should not understimate the importance of building relationships with their local communities in order to maximise business returns. Staff at local pubs and restaurants could all be invited to free bowling evening so that they recommend the venue to their customers in the future.

Cross-promotional opportunities are also available on the web. For example, "Meet at bar X, the perfect pre-bowling bar" could be emblazoned across the bowling establishment website.

I cannot of course alleviate myself from responsibility here. Any sensible person would have printed out a map.

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