|© Nathan Mandell
Honack, Assistant Dean and Chief Marketing
than a drive-through triple espresso
customers” don’t have time to wait for traditional
business marketing models to catch up
Richard Honack, Assistant Dean and Chief Marketing Officer
to wait more than 12 seconds for a Web page to load? Feel
like time stops whenever the person in line in front of you
pulls out a checkbook? Congratulations, you’re part
of the “nanosecond culture,” a world moving at
the speed of light.
digital technology provides “nanosecond customers”
with tools to negotiate this frenetic landscape. These customers
are armed with mobile phones that double as cameras, “Speed
Passes,” Palm Pilots, wireless laptops, multifunctional
broadband plasma screens and the world of the Internet’s
It’s a dizzying
array of technology that not too long ago would have seemed
demanding people, whether retail consumers or operations managers
on the production floor, want their purchases delivered the
next day by FedEx or UPS. If they order a computer online
they expect it to arrive within a narrowly specified, promised
time, or else they won’t be there to receive it —
and the manufacture can take it back. This kind of just-in-time
customized service forms the backbone of Dell Computer’s
sales and marketing strategy.
Even when the nano-speed
crowd buys its daily dose of Starbucks coffee, waiting in
line is no longer acceptable. Instead, they call ahead to
order, charge the triple espresso to their Starbucks credit
card and pick the drink up in the drive-through lane. Or,
if customers want to enjoy the Starbucks in-store experience,
they take advantage of the same high-speed services, plus
wireless Internet connections.
are driven by the need for immediate service satisfaction
since they operate in a world of perpetual flux. In fact,
change happens so fast they can hardly keep pace with their
own revised expectations of what the consumer experience should
deliver. They seek convenience and immediacy because new technologies
have empowered them with new capabilities.
dictate the terms of their purchases by eliminating the middle
person in key decisions, such as buying airline tickets, booking
hotel reservations, buying automobiles, even finding a job.
They can purchase or negotiate just about any product or service
on the Internet, and they do it from their mobile phones,
Palms or wireless laptops.
schools and businesses are going wireless to provide the nanosecond
customer with even more ease of service. These customers seek
out providers who best serve their values. In fact, the nanosecond
customer is more “value driven” than “needs
Due to increased
local and global competition, customers today have more choices.
Competition comes from everywhere, not just the players in
the local game. The differences in quality among these choices
are diminishing, so providers who focus on total service and
value gain a competitive edge on those merely fulfilling a
Cooper” experience from BMW is a leading example
of nano communications. Mini Cooper owners not only enjoy
driving a fun car, but they become “insiders”
who enjoy periodic gifts that the company sends them and regular
emails about other “cool stuff” that they value.
They are also treated to an enthusiastic service department.
Today, the hottest
commodity is information, and customers have more of it than
ever before streaming in from around the globe. People no
longer wait for stock reports or news to show up in tomorrow’s
paper. They want it now, on the latest delivery system. Providers
who fail to meet this insatiable demand will be history, losing
customers to faster competitors.
to attract and keep this new breed of customer must truly
understand what consumers value and learn to play inside a
new arena. If customers don’t find value in a provider,
they will not hesitate to move down the option menu until
they find the right psychological, economical or functional
The rules have
changed, and more importantly, are ever-changing in today’s