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One evening in early January, I was stuck at home, suffering through the second in what would become the string of bad winter storms that we’ve all been experiencing. I hadn’t been to the grocery store for the week, and dinnertime was sneaking up on me. I was contemplating the soup that had been in the cabinet for at least 18 months when I received this email from a local restaurant delivery service:

They were delivering! Dinner (plus leftovers) and avoiding the risk of botulism? I was sold.

Clearly this made an impression on me — I mean seriously, I saved a screenshot of an email — and thinking about it now, I know why. It’s because it spoke to me as both a customer and a marketer. This wasn’t part of a planned campaign. The company anticipated and fulfilled an immediate need I was experiencing with the kind of contextual responsiveness we’ve come to expect almost exclusively from social media programs. Delivery Now used the tools and insights already at their disposal to solve a customer problem. Opportunistic? Sure. But it got me what I needed in that moment, so why should I be bothered that they benefit, too?

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