The coming health crisis
A long line at the American Airlines counter. Finally, a particularly well-dressed man gets to the front, loudly announcing that he wants to check in for first class.
The harried agent does her best, but there's no room. He starts getting louder and more angry. He's blathering about his power and authority.
She tries to placate him, but to no avail.
Finally, he yells, "Do you know who I am?"
Without missing a beat, the gate agent grabs the microphone. "Attention in the gate area. We have a medical emergency. The man at gate 11 has just suffered a serious bout of amnesia. If anyone recognizes him, can they please come forward and help him?"
All as a way of telling you that an epidemic of amnesia is sweeping our land. Armed with a blog and a following (I have 2,000 [or 2 million] daily readers... wait till they hear about this!), or with a frequent purchaser card or even just a credit card, millions of customers are now your most powerful customers. And as powerful customers, they want you to know, to recognize and to reward them for their power. If you don't know 'who they are', they're going to hit the road. Angrily.
Watch out for amnesia. It's spreading fast.
Smart marketers are already treating each customer as even more important than she thinks she is (Or aggressively treating all customers the same... well).