If marketing matters to your company, changing your perspective from “How do I get customers to buy my product?” to “How do I continue to provide value to the customer after the transaction?” is necessary, said Robbie Kellman Baxter, founder of consulting firm Peninsula Strategies and author of “The Membership Economy.”
CMOs should welcome a departure from the transactional mind-set and look to perpetuate a culture of membership and community for their brands, added Baxter, who has been providing strategic business advice to Silicon Valley companies for more than 20 years and regularly presents to professional associations, leading universities, and corporations.
Baxter advocates “moving from a product focus to a mission focus and ultimately to a customer focus,” she said. “What you’re trying to do is take care of a customer’s need instead of selling them a thing.”
Membership-based models appeal to the customer by fulfilling basic human needs: the desire to belong, to be recognized, and to be treated as an individual. To reinforce the importance of the customer’s needs being fulfilled, brands must continuously attach value to their products or services.
“The transaction is now the starting line, not the finish line,” Baxter said.
Additional highlights from this week’s episode of CMO Radio include:
- Why no one wants to talk retention (6:14)
- The “forever transaction” (11:16)
- Examples of niche businesses with membership models (19:35)
- The “buffet principle” and how it relates to pricing (27:40)