Being good to people is good karma and, according to John Fischer of StickerGiant.com, it’s also good marketing.
John credits what he calls “karma marketing” for helping to build the small business he started out of his basement in 2000 to one of the most popular online sites for all kinds of stickers, including political stickers,
So what is karma marketing? According to John, karma marketing means looking for ways to change people’s lives in meaningful ways. StickerGiant does a lot of traditional marketing, such as sponsoring events, but they also go beyond the traditional to engage with customers in ways most businesses do not. Here are some of the principles of karma marketing, as practiced by StickerGiant.com:
Giving freely. StickerGiant has given stickers to dozens of bloggers and organizations, both large and small. Many of them have become evangelists, helping to spread the word about StickerGiant.
Committing random acts of kindness. John went to Twitter and registered the names of his top competitors. Then he sent the account information to them so they would own their brands on Twitter. Is that second part not what you expected? That’s exactly the point. Do you think his competitors were surprised by this, too?
Going beyond customer service. In one case, a new customer made a spelling error on a custom sticker order for her employer, and was going to have to pay for the reprint out of her own pocket. StickerGiant reprinted the stickers at their expense, saving the customer hundreds of dollars. John explains that StickerGiant breaks the mindset that says, “If I did this for everyone, I would go broke,” and provides extraordinary service, particularly in extraordinary circumstances. They couldn’t afford to reprint every custom order at no cost, but they don’t have to do it for every customer.
Saying thank you. Every custom order gets a handwritten follow-up post card. When is the last time you got a handwritten note thanking you for your business?
Asking for feedback. And really listening. Customers are often shocked to learn that not only did someone read the comment card they filled out, StickerGiant took action on their suggestion.
Karma marketing means treating customers as you would like to be treated, but it is more than that. It means going beyond the expected and doing good even without the expectation of a direct payoff.
How could you implement karma marketing in your business? Look for ways to make the lives of your customers, vendors, employees—and even competitors—better. Some may cost money in the short term, others will not. Will it make money for you? Probably so. People like to do business with people they like.
Karma marketing is about building a business that does good in the world. If you make a genuine effort to do the right thing for others, it will be noticed. And we can all use some good karma, right?