There’s a diner down the street that my girlfriend and I love to go to for breakfast on weekend mornings.
It’s cozy, friendly, and it’s the perfect backdrop for conversation.
It has built its business around serving regulars – like us – who count on it for a moment of serenity during typically hectic Washington workweeks.
The diner is a time capsule of a calmer era. A time before status updates and check-ins and the vibrating smart phones that have so seamlessly become a part of our interrupted lifestyle.
The diner was a break from all that. Until the other week, when they added 4 big-screen, HD, larger than life, pixel-pulsating television sets.
Now, I don’t want to pull an Andy Rooney and go all luddite on you – and I’m sure the owners were proud that they’d made such a long-awaited improvement to their establishment – but the “improvement” sort of ruined it for me. And I’m not the only regular that feels that way.
Amidst playing catch-up with emerging trends in technology the diner owners forgot about one thing: their regular customers.
And the same thing can happen when organizations get carried away with what’s latest and greatest in the world of content marketing. What’s newest isn’t always what’s best.
Adapting to a changing marketplace is key to long-term success, but exercise extreme caution when making a decision that might alter the core experience you provide, and ask yourself these questions:
- Does this improve the existing experience or is it introducing an entirely new experience?
- Am I doing this because it feels like everyone else is doing it or is it something that makes sense for my customers and readers?
- Is the change I’m making responding to a flash flood trend in the market or an actual sea change?
- Will my readers and customers thank me or curse me for this? (Hint: Asking them never hurts – not everyone loves surprises.)
Abandoning your company blog in favor of a Facebook page may seem like the right thing to do in the short-term, but what are the long-term implications?
Trading your print magazine in for a digital-only edition might help you save on cost but what does it cost for you ultimately in readership?
Outsourcing your customer service to a call-center to increase productivity might make things seem easier but what else are you losing with those conversations?
Your readers and customers are your readers and customers for a reason. They fell in love with something about what you do and chose you over a competitor for a specific reason. Never take this for granted and be cautious when changing what they fell in love with.
Don’t be reckless with their hearts.