When you are a marketer, you can never turn off your mind even when on vacation in Croatia. Every place you go you see ways businesses, from the shops to the street vendors, could be doing things a bit differently to generate more sales. Surprisingly, you also find is what many of us have forgotten in the digitally drenched world of the United States.
Enjoy a humbling look at getting back to basics brought to you from a snapshot in marketing abroad.
As the heat begins to abate along the streets of Bol, vendors re-energize to get ready for the beach goers to stride by their stalls. Each has a niche they claim, whether it is products from the lavender fields or a wide array of colorful sun hats. Of course, their choice in goods and the tourists’ desire or need for them is at the cornerstone of whether they survive or not. All marketplaces are driven by this basic of supply and demand.
What you first notice is how they display their wears inviting the eye to come closer. Presentation is everything allowing you to see everything at a glance. The stall owners here did not solicit interest with voice, but through simple absolute visuals of actual product. Appropriate merchandise displays are vital.
When you venture closer, they simply stand back until you hone in on a particular item. At this point, they’ll tell you about the product engaging you emotionally in a lovely tale. If you set it down the clever stall keeper will already have in hand a few similar items you may like more. Once you are hooked and ready to buy he quickly shows you what else would compliment your purchase. Cross-selling at its finest.
What stands out undeniably was the genuine personality of many of the people in this culture. This made you “want” to buy from them and support their businesses over and over again. If you stay in the village long enough you begin to feel like you are part of the family with simple nods and smiles that follow you everywhere. Customer engagement never stops giving back to the proprietors.
This shop owner was so friendly that you learn all about his family and why loves what he does. His joy was infectious causing us to stay longer, and then carry out bags of gorgeous fabrics. An ice cream vendor we gorged ourselves on could toss ice cream and catch it making hilarious creations. Each time we happened to walk back by he’d throw a cone at me, which became a comical game. What an incredible show of being a brand ambassador.
We even had an elderly taxi driver we commissioned to drive us to the ferry at the end of the trip who when we were with him late one night said, “No. You pay me later. Go rest.” Really? All he said at the end of our trip was to tell everyone about Ginko. Smart man. Treated us right, then asked for the referral.
Marketing abroad is many times driven by tourism in remote areas. Communities like these work themselves to the bone for 11 hours a day, 4 months out of the year. Then they go back to their smaller villages to grow their own food and reconnect with family. The fact is they value patronage, and they show it.
Marketing Abroad Comes Home
There is a strong resurgence in America of boutique businesses with contagious cultures of their own. They rely on the simplicity of novelty and remarkable customer experience to sustain them. These pioneers are leading trends then quickly transitioning to embrace new ones directly into their 4-walls surfing along as they come enjoying the ride all the way. Reinventing yourself leads to transformation, which drives the evolution of businesses to live long healthy lives backed by the customers who love you. And I do mean you—because as you know, people buy from people.