I originally wrote this post for BostInnovation.com. You can find the original here.
Jesse Morgan had his moment as the Ladies Man. I’m here to be your Hitch.
In An Email Marketer’s Guide to Picking Up Girls, Jesse offered you his tips for dropping that perfect pickup line and that perfect marketing email. And even though he never called me (it’s okay, Jesse – they’re just feelings; they’ll heal), he was still absolutely correct.
But I’m more of a relationship guy. Some say it’s my product job that makes me think that way. Others say it’s my charm and handsome looks. I say, “Stop it, Mom, I’m trying to write a serious column here!”
So after the one-liners land, the butterflies settle, and the “firsts” are all established, it’s time to get serious with your users and gear up for the long-haul. You can’t live without them, after all, and you want them feeling the exact same way.
This one goes out to all the lovers out there…
1. Understand product-market fit.
They say relationships are about compromise. They clearly weren’t in too many relationships.
Relationships are about what SHE wants, whether you like it or not. If you want to keep her around, make sure you always consider what she wants to do first and foremost.
That means even though you’re thinkingTerminator, you’re gonna sit throughLove Actuallytonight. That’s because, while watching Arnold destroy futuristic robots and the English language in the same movie sounds like an awesome night to you, you know one vital thing: if you don’t offer her a fun time, she won’t stick around very long. There are plenty of fish (and products) in the sea for her.
Don’t just assume you know how she thinks – make sure you actually know her, inside and out. (Alright, just settle down…I know what I wrote.)
2. Rely on feedback channels.
As much as you may grow to hate it, always ask that simple question: “How was your day, honey?”
Open communication ensures that you always understand what she wants, needs, and loves. Plus, it shows that you care, and it makes her feel heard.
It’s true that listening to her talk about an issue she has with you or her boss (or that girl at Starbucks who was SO rude or the bartender who was totally ignoring her to talk to those younger girls who were CLEARLY underage and only allowed in the bar because they wore heels so tall they could barely walk and OMG did you hear what Jessica told Becky the other day…?!)
Whoa, sorry, got off track there. Where were we? Ah yes – although her issues may seemingly drag on, you need to carve out feedback time so you can take the most important action you can in any long-term relationship:
3. Create moments of surprise and delight.
That’s right – you need to bring flowers, especially on days where you’re not supposed to bring flowers.
You want this relationship to blossom and continue to be just as interesting and just as hot as Day One, so you need to seriously focus on the most important phrase of the Web 2.0, social-local-mobile-half-caf-decaf-mocha-chai-latte era:
“Surprise and delight.”
This means, quite simply, you must createmoments of unexpected happiness.
Maybe show up with a copy ofLove Actually on DVD because she lost hers and you happened to hear her complain to her friend about it. Maybe instead of flowers, you bring her that favorite brand of chocolate she loves so much. It shows you care about her and know her well and that you’re willing to make the effort.
This is key, so let’s step outside the analogy for a second.
Everyone is a broadcaster of things they know and love today. And everyone has millions of options and the attention spans of sugared-up six-year-olds. So if you don’t focus on being human and don’t deliver moments of surprise and delight, you’re just not going to succeed long term in developing a loyal base of users. Period. All the data crunching and big-picture thinking, KPIs, ROI, NWAs and BYOBs in the world won’t be worth a damn if you can’t get a single user to say to a friend, “I totally love these guys, and you should check them out.”
Ways to create those unexpected moments of happiness could be to drop a “Happy Friday!” tweet to a user, or share a link about the Red Sox with them directly because they say “Go Sox!” in their profile, or send them a little extra something when you fulfill their order, or even add a small design tweak on your site when they arrive on their birthday.
Create little moments of unexpected happiness by surprising and delighting her.
4. Use analytics and data to make the right decisions.
Fellas – ever hear this timeless gem? “No, it’s fine – go out with the guys tonight. I don’t care. Seriously! I don’t.”
WARNING! WARNING! DO NOT PASS GO! DO NOT COLLECT $200! DANGER! DANGER!
It’s not what they SAY; it’s what they DO. While it matters a ton that you talk to her every day about how she’s feeling (aka qualitative feedback and customer development), it matters infinitely more what she does (aka analytics, user behavior, build-measure-learn cycles, etc.).
So ask yourself: Are her words saying one thing but her face and tone say another?
Do a few users gripe about one of your features when in reality, it’s your most popular and fastest-growing? (Stay with me, everyone – it’s an easy column for human anatomy jokes.)
Does your girl tell you to go out with your friends but then poisons the next meal she cooks for you?
You know – relationship stuff.
It’s not what she says. It’s what she does. Build your relationship based on that!
5. Be present, be honest, and be great.
All the advice in the world wouldn’t matter if what you have to offer just plain stinks. So if you really want to get Facebook Official, have the basics on lock. Be there for her (serve the purpose you claim to be fulfilling). Be honest (if you make a mistake, own up to it and improve). And be great.
That last part sounds like something you’re born with or just pull out of thin air, but if you take time to focus on things that matter to her (perhaps five things that you happen to read on a tech blog somewhere?), being great becomes a whole lot easier.
Besides,Love Actually isn’t that bad. I mean, it’s actually kinda good. British humor is great anyway. Well at least Keira Knightley is in it so — bro, I like the movie, okay?!