7658225516_00cf277f83_mBlog posts about marketing usually focus on issues that are readily visible. Blog posts will concentrate on what your marketing strategy is, how to measure your social media marketing, or how to avoid the latest PR gaffe. It is easy to get absorbed into these big picture issues. There is plenty to dig into, after all, and there is room for debate. The more mundane details of running a business in the 21st century often are ignored. This makes sense for the most part. Who wants to talk about issues that we all just have to deal with every day like paying the bills or keeping the lights on? That stuff is just “fact of life” kind of miscellany, right?

The problem with this kind of approach is that sometimes it’s the everyday mundane details that can really throw businesses for a loop. A good example is the change in pricing that UPS announced for 2015. We were recently alerted by a client that UPS rates not only had increased by 4.9% across the board, but all packages now were going to be shipped based on dimensional rate rather than on actual weight. Depending on the types of products being shipped, this single change in UPS guidelines can increase shipping expenses by 50%. This not only impacts the company but of course it also impacts the company’s customers, who will have to pay more for their products.

As marketers, there is not much we can do about changes like this. When the United States Postal Service decides to increase postage or cancel Saturday delivery, that has impacts on our clients, but there is not anything we can do directly to solve that problem. There are ways marketing can help, however. It is not difficult to predict how customers will react to increases in prices. Strategic marketing can help companies soften the blow for customers in any number of ways. Customers can be alerted via a direct mail and/or email campaign that their pricing will be increasing, for example. Loyalty plans can be created to help nurture relationships with customers who stay on despite the higher costs. Transparency in marketing communications regarding issues beyond the company’s control can help customers feel like they are in the know. These alerts may even help customers sympathize with the company if they are dealing with similar obstacles.

Many agencies and marketing consultants avoid dealing with this level of granularity. Business operations are a far cry from increasing sales or honing the HR department. However, there is a world of opportunities in helping companies make sure that these daily grind issues aren’t the ones that will break the customers’ loyalty. Whether the problem is shipping changes, difficulties due to weather, high gas prices, or chaos on the other side of the world, marketing has the capacity to make sure that customers are being kept up-to-date on why their service or their prices are fluctuating. At the end of the day, this kind of information can spell the difference between keeping or losing a customer. To us, that is what marketing is really all about – helping to make sure that new customers are brought to the table and that existing customers are kept happy. Maybe it’s time marketing began to overlap a little more with those everyday mundane aspects of running a business.

What say you?

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