About a year ago, I remember hearing someone make the comment:
Netflix doesn’t need a marketing department. They just have millions of happy customers that won’t shut up about them.
Well, those millions of customers still won’t shut up about them…except now they’re not quite so happy.
The sad part is the 14-year-old Netflix managed to achieve this in less than three months – first by raising prices, then by altering the business model in a way that severely, and negatively impacts the customer experience. It didn’t help that Reed Hastings, the CEO, tried to disguise the announcement as an apology. As of the time of this post, Hasting’s apology had roughly 26k comments, almost all of them negative.
Everyone in business knows that positive word of mouth is the holy grail of advertising. Whether it’s a friend, family, or another customer that’s spent their hard earned cash on a product or service, people listen to people they trust. A company can spend hundreds of millions – billions – on advertising and marketing and never acquire the goodwill Netflix had. You can’t buy it. You can’t simply put up a Facebook page or create a Twitter account to get it. It grows organically. It grows with happy customers that won’t shut up.