At DemandGen, we’ve chosen June as our official “Customer Appreciation Month” to recognize the loyalty and success of our many, many great clients. But in reality, we feel like “every day of the year” is (and should be) devoted to customer appreciation.
Ask any savvy human resources manager – or indeed, any smart business executive – what the cardinal rule is when it’s time to deliver feedback. The virtual consensus is to remove emotion from the process. But if you’ll allow me, I’m going to put aside that sage advice to express some emotions today because I’m pretty sure I can do so without offending anyone or creating any confusion about the nature of our relationships with our customers.
Quite simply: We love you – passionately!
Maybe those four words are enough to express our inner monologue for customer appreciation, but I’d like to share some thoughts to flesh out these feelings.
Like a pizza shop owner who has his first customer’s dollar bill framed on the wall, I have a mental picture – carved firmly in my memory – of DemandGen’s first signed contract. As an entrepreneur, I struggle to find the words to express how much it meant to have that very first client take a bet on our new company. But I’m also happy to underscore the fact that, to tweak the words of the late, great B.B. King, “The thrill isn’t gone.”
More than 400 clients later, we are still filled with excited anticipation each time we send a proposal out. Why? I guess it’s because, in services business like ours,“we are the product.” Signing an agreement is emotionally equivalent to getting hired for the job you always wanted. It creates a broad range of feelings from excitement, anticipation, to, yeah, even a little nervousness. It means that the thoughtful conversations we’ve had during the interview period (aka sales cycle) went well enough that we were selected as the partner for the journey ahead. Whether it’s the first time or the thousandth time, earning that trust is always a great, special feeling.
From that day forward, everything we do is intently focused on delighting you, serving you, supporting you, and making you a marketing hero. When we’ve succeeded, we’ve helped you make marketing matter more than ever at your organization. When we’ve succeeded, you’re getting promoted and recognized for your accomplishments.
So when we say we love our clients, it’s not just because we’ve built up our admiration and respect over our time working with you (though that’s certainly true). It also expresses our mission for customer success — to love our clients. We live to serve and, by helping you and your firm, we fulfill our own destiny.
We are honored to have so many loyal customers and grateful to serve every one of you. Do partnerships sometimes present challenges? Of course. But those are OK, too, since they become great learning opportunities for us. As the partner on a unified, integrated team, we are all gifted with unique skills and abilities that, collectively, can make extraordinary things possible. I often repeat the expression to my team (ask any of them) the idea that “None of us is smarter than all of us.” And that absolutely encompasses our customer partnerships as well.
Over the past eight years, it’s been fantastic to see so many of you getting promoted, earning marketing industry awards from Sirius, Eloqua, Salesforce, and Marketo. Many of you are already moving on to bigger roles and opportunities that leverage your expertise from our engagements. We always feel that a key performance indicator of our success is the trajectory of your career success.
Thank you for bringing us into your business. Thank you for trusting us to serve you.
Here’s to a great month – and another great year ahead as well.
For more than 20 years, David Lewis has been a pioneering innovator in digital marketing, and has overseen marketing for some of Silicon Valley’s leading technology firms. Taking his expertise for “Making Marketing Matter”, he founded DemandGen in 2007 to build the worlds’ first marketing technology agency.
For the past decade, David and his team at DemandGen have been at the forefront of the transformation taking place in marketing by helping 100’s of the top sales and marketing teams around the world incorporate marketing automation to drive growth. David is accomplished industry speaker, thought leader, and author. His ground-breaking work on the transformation of marketing and sales is at the heart of his book, Manufacturing Demand: The Principles of Successful Lead Management.