Marketing is broken, at least marketing as we know it. A non-marketeer dredges up the ugly and the beautiful in the marketing world.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

NBA: how to alienate your customers

In a move that may further send attendance and popularity downhill, the NBA is preparing to announce a fan "Code of Conduct", where fans at a game can be ejected for something as simple as a "you suck" to a player. Nothing builds sales like telling your customer exactly how they can use your product. Funny how visting teams in an arena can weather the challenge of overwhelming cheers for their opponents, but can't take a few derogatory remarks in the line of earning several million dollars a year. I know plenty of people who could take 8 hours a week of heckling for a million dollar salary.

I'm not saying the customer is always right, or that it's not okay to fire a bad customer. Telling your customer if they can't say something nice about the product, don't say it at all in a league where the "employees" have highly publicized and largely undisciplined bad behavior is a pretty dumb move when your attendance is lackluster and you're asking them to shell out their hard-earned cash in large chunks.

Newsflash to the NBA - your customers don't NEED you. Telling the customers you have that you don't need some of them doesn't fix a thing. You have an image problem, but it's your customers mimicking the product.


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