Club Mahindra – an example of a poorly executed marketing strategy

How do you feel when a time-share company
1) Invites you for a 45-minute presentation with a promise of a FREE gift.
2) Follows up enthusiastically to fix an appointment.
3) When you confirm an appointment, reminds you emphatically that “Please do come because the FREE gift vouchers once made in your name cannot be canceled.”
4) Sends an SMS with venue, time details and seeks SMS confirmation ftom you.
5) Just 15 minutes prior to the appointment time, calls you up and asks “Where are you? We are waiting for you.”
6) When you arrive 5 minutes before the appointment time, the receptionist tells you that ” We can’t accommodate you. Our presentation venue is full.
Either you come after an hour or some other day. ”
7) Wastes your precious time and does not even bother to express a simple “Sorry”.

Club Mahindra did just this last week with us.  It created a lot of hype around the presentation and the free gift and in the end, failed disappointingly. A telling example of an extremely poor execution of a marketing strategy.

A lot of characteristics of a company are reflected in the way it conducts its operations. It is natural to doubt the quality of services of a company that cannot coordinate its regular marketing activities properly.

Club Mahindra has a lot of work to do in its marketing activities coordination. Till then a lot of advertising and promotional expense will continue to go in drain creating a lot of avoidable bitterness among its prospects.

How a business loses its customers?

Till about a year back, I subscribed to Hindustan Times and its sister publication Mint. But, I discontinued them and switched to Times Of India and Economic Times.

Why?

Because HT/Mint failed to help me to continue. They were disinterested. Generally, one would expect the newspaper office to be aware well in advance when any subscription is due for renewal. HT/Mint did not care that my subscription was expiring. They let it lapse. Till about two months, nobody from their office realized that they had lost a customer. (Typically, this happens when you are losing hundreds or thousands of customers and don’t really understand whom to track.)

Times came in on time. They were prompt, true to their leadership position. Last month, they followed up and collected my second year renewal. About one month in advance…!

And, on the other hand, since about an year, the ill-informed executives of HT/Mint send me a lot of SMSs, calls and individual follow-ups to remind me for renewal, blissfully ignorant that my subscription had ended one year back…! Either HT/Mint don’t have a CRM in place or it sucks…

When you are too busy to track your sales and customers, you ignore your ready and loyal customers, you lose business. Customer apathy is a sin, which leads to a heavy punishment.

No wonder, Times leads. In every area of business of publication, be it editorial, content, innovation, pricing or sales.

Hindustan Times & Mint need to learn a few lessons from the leader whom they may hate to follow.