How to Turn Customers into Fans: David Meerman Scott

rock concert

I first heard of marketing expert David Meerman Scott years ago, but I can’t for the life of me remember the context. His name popped up in my Inbox again, yesterday, when I received an announcement about his appearance on the Personalization Outbreak Podcast from Glenn Llopis.

I still haven’t figured out why his name is so familiar. Maybe it’s through one of his best-selling books. Or maybe we ended up at the same show—he’s attended over 860 live concerts over the years.

His passion for music ties into the topic of this podcast—How to Turn Customers into Fans.

You can watch it on YouTube.

If you don’t have time to listen to the whole 30-minute podcast, or you want to know what to expect, here are some of my takeaways:

  • Personalization is a movement. Not jargon, a movement.
  • Scott has long been fascinated by fandom, and he’s experienced it both as a subject and as a fan.
  • He talks about fanocracy, which is the idea of humanizing business. People are hardwired to want to be part of a tribe of like-minded people. In that tribe we feel safe and comfortable.
  • Businesses would do well to focus on creating a tribe. Creating a human connection works.
  • Are you a fan of any business? I can’t think of many companies I do business with that have charmed me into fandom. I’m a fan of my insurance agent, but not necessarily a fan of State Farm. The insurance agent converted me from happy customer to fan when I was hit by a car while riding my bike. Their support through that whole mess was fantastic. I’m a fan of Sonic, my internet service provider. The internet isn’t anything miraculous. I’m a fan because when I have a question or a problem, I can call a local number and a real human answers the phone within minutes, and without me going through a million different prompts. I’m a fan of my web hosting company, SiteGround. My website works and it’s secure. What moved me into fandom was their customer service. I can chat with someone any time, they keep helping until the problem is solved, and I usually don’t have to wait longer than one minute. See the connection? People.
  • People do business with people. We don’t want to do business with an algorithm, although algorithms help people do their job better and faster.
  • Most companies force you to give them your email, use their app, call their number within their time constraints. That’s backwards thinking.
  • Meerman Scott wakes up at 4 a.m. and is often in bed before 8 p.m. OMG we’re on the same schedule! How weird is that!
  • 3 (Traditional) Ways to Generate Attention:
    • Buy attention (ads)
    • Bug people for attention (sales)
    • Beg the media (PR)
  • Trouble is, these methods don’t work so well anymore.
  • The New Rule: Understand your buyers and connect with them online.
  • The biggest mistake businesses make when connecting with their audience: they focus on themselves. Look at my product! Me, me, me!
  • Instead, focus on your customers. How are they? What do they want to know? Cater to their wants, desires, and needs. Treat them like a person.

Watch/listen to the podcast for the full story.

Thanks for reading!

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2 thoughts on “How to Turn Customers into Fans: David Meerman Scott

    1. You’re very welcome! As someone who went out to hear live music pretty much every week from age 16 to 33, I can relate to your philosophy! (I fell out of the habit when I moved…different music scene, mainly, + early morning runs)

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