Companies have two choices: 1) deliver generic promotional messages to push a product or service and drive customer transactions or 2) provide content and experiences uniquely tailored to individual customers’ needs and expectations, and discover why their most engaged customers love them—and then do more of that.
In today’s world, the consumer is in the driver seat, and they are more diverse, savvy and fickle than ever before. They aren’t a “segment.” They are individuals, and they want to be treated that way. And they want information, offers and communications that are highly relevant, timely and personal.
Successful marketing has transitioned from being about transactions to creating meaningful interactions. Take these four foundational steps to get your company on the road to greater success.
- Revisit your company’s brand promise. OK. This is a big one, but it’s essential to ensure success. Guide your leadership team in a discussion of your brand promise. Does it put the consumer front and center? Does it focus beyond product to envision life made better by your company? Consider Toyota Motor Corporation: “Toyota will lead the way to the future of mobility, enriching lives around the world with the safest and most responsible ways of moving people.” An automotive company or a thought leader in how to move people safely in the decades to come? Refresh your company’s promise with these points in mind to strengthen your long-term competitive advantage.
- Understand your customers. Marketing’s job is to grow revenue for the company. To do that, you have to understand how buyers make their purchase decisions and how you can influence those decisions. Start by gathering data from every sources available—customer surveys, website, blogs, social networks, email promotions, display ads, call center feedback, sales data, etc. Pull an internal team together to review the data, understand it and develop key insights. Not only will you learn a lot about what is and isn’t working today, you also may identify emerging opportunities. Now, make the data actionable and connect the dots. Adjust your marketing strategy, messaging and delivery platforms to tie customer needs to your company’s solutions.
- Design and deliver the right (and best) customer experience. One of the most difficult jobs is creating a differentiated customer experience that earns customer loyalty and advocacy. It’s about delivering an experience at critical touch points—those “moment of truth” interactions—that influence loyalty. These can include the purchase experience, your online presence, customer service, payment/billing and the delivery of your products or services. Mapping these experiences, from the customer’s perspective, will help you to identify and understand moments of truth and then design an experience that meets or exceeds customers’ expectations.
- Engage your employees. Every day, employees should be able to answer this question: “How am I helping to deliver on the company’s brand promise today?” Through communications and training, educate employees about who their customers are so they know them as deeply as you do. Share with them how their efforts make a difference to the business. Align teams, processes and systems to be flexible in meeting customers’ needs, and empower employees to make smart choices that support your promise. Find ways to celebrate success stories about teams that are delivering on the brand promise and reaping the rewards in improved business results.
For more information on how you build successful customer and marketing strategies, contact us today.