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Do You Own Your Customer?
I realize that may not be the best title for a blog post, but given you’re reading this now, I’m assuming it got your attention.
So, from a marketing perspective I guess I did my job!
Well, do you?
Do you own your customer?
Let me help you out…
If you are an affiliate marketer… You don’t.
If you sell products on Amazon, eBay or Rakuten… You don’t.
If you do joint ventures working with a partner and you don’t have a legal interest in the company you’re joint venturing with… You don’t.
There are probably other scenarios that I’m not thinking of where you DON’T own your customer.
But I think you get the point.
Here’s why I’m asking and why I want you to self-analyze your potentially ‘so-called’ customer base.
In this day and age, I HIGHLY recommend you own your customer.
I’ll tell you why in a minute…
But first an analogy to bring the point home for those that are a little slow
If you don’t own your customer, its kind of like someone else putting their money in a stock for you and saying that when they cash out, they will pay you a dividend.
And you have nothing in writing saying as such…
And you don’t own the stock…
And again, you didn’t even put your own money into the stock.
There is no ownership in that scenario!
Now, that might be a drastic example, but I want you to ask yourself…
Are you guaranteed a life-long return on that investment?
In fact, in that scenario, you aren’t guaranteed ‘Jack Squat’!
You know what though?
Now that I think about it… actually that’s not as bad as not owning your customer, because if someone else invests their own money for you, you have nothing at risk, no steak in the game, no time, money or resources spent.
But if you don’t own your customer, you have everything at risk.
If you’re an affiliate marketer, you’re actually putting all of your efforts into getting a customer for someone else.
If you sell physical products on Amazon, guess what… You’re spending all of your efforts on getting Amazon a customer (and helping them build a wealth of information on what products sell, customer behavior, etc.).
If you’re joint venturing with another company, like say an MLM/Network Marketing company… Same thing!
So, what happens if Amazon decides not to let you sell your products anymore (happens all the time, trust me)?
What happens if that MLM/Network Marketing company goes under (happens all the time, trust me)?
In either situation, your done… your toast!
And you know what, Amazon and that MLM company doesn’t give a rats a$$!
You NEED to own your customer!
Somewhere down the line you absolutely need to own your customer.
Frankly, in my opinion if you don’t… You don’t have a real business my friend.
Think about all the REAL businesses out there.
Do you think Best Buy owns their customer? Yep
People come into Best Buy and the buy products from Best Buy…
…And when someone asks a Best Buy customer where they bought their home theater, video game system or whatever… Guess what? They say “Best Buy” (shocker, I know).
Now, let me step back a minute… Am I saying NOT owning your customer is a bad thing.
No, its not a “bad” thing. There is a place for it. But it shouldn’t be the ONLY thing you do.
And I don’t think it should be the first thing you do.
If you want to affiliate or joint venture with someone else and offer their products to YOUR customers… fine.
In fact, that’s a great way to maximize the monetization of your customers by leveraging someone else’s products.
But again, in that scenario, they are YOUR customers first.
That’s all I’m saying here. Make them your customer first. Or as soon as you can…
…And get REALLY, REALLY good at doing that… Then you can do what you want with them.*
Of course you could go out and write a series of books like ‘Harry Potter’ and make so much money in licensing that you don’t even care (yep, J.K. Rowling doesn’t own her customer, her publisher, etc. does… but she’s a gazillionaire from all of the licensing and I doubt she cares).
Happy writing if you choose that course
To your success! Cheers!
*DISCLAIMER: I’m aware that customers, clients or whatever are human beings. So when I say, ‘own your customer’ OR ‘you can do whatever you want with them’, please use your brain and keep it in context here. I’m not a jerk and I don’t think customers are an object.