I have just returned from a two week culinary tour in Paris, France with a buddy of mine. He is the CEO of a company and I met him on my last cruise vacation. We were both seated at the chef’s table for a nine-course tasting menu (another extraordinary experience I will share another time). In pursuit of our passion for fine dining, we decided to make the trip to Paris together. Needless to say, my taste buds and my senses have so many stories and experiences to share that I’m not quite sure where to begin.
Let me take you to the House of Veuve Clicquot—a champagne house in Reims, France. Established in 1772, the Veuve Clicquot company has been part of the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy group of luxury brands since 1987. On our visit, we expected to taste some of the finest champagne from this great lineage, which we did. In addition, we were given the opportunity to blend our own champagne! We started with Vin Clair (the base wine for champagne) and were given the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier to reverse engineer our own, personal champagne creation. To make things even better, we went to an amazing restaurant for lunch—Le Jardin Brasserie. Overall, it was truly a wonderful day going from one unique and enjoyable experience to another. A classic case of being in the right place at the right time with the right people…
While the taste of Veuve Clicquot will always be a fond memory for me, the act of creating my own champagne brought to mind some similarities with the world of demand generation and innovative marketing. In an effort to piece together several industry-leading marketing best practices, marketers often forget that all marketing is about managing perceptions and communicating value. It is when we start to deconstruct and reverse engineer perceptions that we may find the Vin Clair—the base of the delectable champagne—the pool where experiences are poured in carefully measured portions, with artfully matched grapes and matured using a precise process that unravels in the chalk caves or Les Crayere. That’s exactly how reverse engineering marketing works—you aim to create the series of desired perceptions that will lead up to the final image of how you want your product or service to be seen.
Perception is Reality—Champagne is Only another Wine…Or is it?
Demand generation requires that you study and observe the various decisions along the way before a buyer makes the final decision to purchase. A prospect does not just get to the buying stage in a straight path; there are many smaller decisions and perceptions that shape opinions before a sale happens. A mature lead generation and lead nurturing process takes into account the intricacies of “which grapes”, “which cask”, “which cellar or cave”, “shape of the bottle”, “colour of the label”, and so on before great champagne or a desirable product is created. All of these come together to communicate high perceived value and fuel the desire to buy.
“Make your own wine” shops are all over the place. To stand out, you need to “make your own champagne”. You need to give customers a Parisian experience. For as noted American novelist and Nobel Laureate Ernest Hemingway once said, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast.”
You need to create that “movable feast”—each time.
Any ideas on how your organization can reverse engineer marketing processes to dish up the perfect feast or the finest champagne? Think aloud and feel free to share on my blog.