Great Marketing: Small Gift = Big Shift

Companies tend to look for the big kills in Marketing Warfare. Campaigns are based around mass marketing efforts. Even social media campaigns are about the numbers. Yet the best marketing examples are often those one to one encounters that impact individuals. Those are the ones that start the first whispers of true ‘word of mouth’ results.


I experienced a great example of that that yesterday. My wife and I had dinner at a restaurant in Melbourne’s Hardware Lane. We’ve never been there before. Hardware Lane is a tiny stretch of narrow lane packed with restaurants and tables. On a cool Thursday night it was buzzing.The restaurants had their boards out, and every waiter was a sprinkler, pitching their tables ahead of their competitors’.

As a precinct, this lane is a small fish. Perhaps 100 meters long, 8 meters wide. But already, their point of difference was strong. Individual attention for every customer, from every restaurant. Even after we had eaten, we wandered the length of the lane, and staff from each restaurant were happy to talk and spend time with us describing the history of the lane and their respective restaurants. In a busy environment, this is all too rare. It was fun, friendly and exactly what a restaurant district should be.

However, the restaurant we ate at, Max Bar & Restaurant, went above and beyond. My wife’s meal, while fine, wasn’t exactly what she expected, and was an enormous serving size. She left a fair amount on her plate. The waiter was very concerned. Even after she told him she was happy with the meal, he still offered to replace it with another. She declined, and 2 minutes later he returned with a couple of glasses of Kahlua and a further apology.

That’s what good marketing is. Going above and beyond. Taking the little steps. Enabling and encouraging staff to make the calls that turn customers into advocates. And on the larger scale, creating a competitive environment that supports the overall customer experience.

If you’re ever in Melbourne, I highly recommend Hardware Lane and Max Bar & Restaurant.