I didn’t talk about Satisfaction, the 5th component of the AIDAS model, in the last post on Desirability. That’s because it’s the most difficult for folks to get a grip on and I wanted to treat it separately. There’s a reason for this difficulty: Most Marketers (and many analysts) think they’re “done” when they get through the Action part of AIDAS.
They achieved Engagement, don’t you know.
So even though Interactivity is different, these folks are still using the old offline models to run their Marketing programs. “Satisfaction” isn’t their problem, Action is. Satisfaction is somebody else’s problem, a longer-term issue. Marketers have no control over it.
Now, I’m pretty sure most folks reading this know Marketing plays a big role in Satisfaction and have seen live examples of it. Everything from over-promising in the Sales pitch to Products with known faults that are still sold to Service Policies that don’t make any sense.
And most Marketers say, “That’s not my problem, my job is selling.”
This attitude is so old school, offline thinking again. Interactivity is about the Exchange, it’s not a one-way, always Outbound kind of thing. Interactivity, by definition, says there is a Relationship. So if you are going to be an Interactive Marketer, you have to be in the Relationship business.
And this means Satisfaction is part of your job.
You’re not only responsible for creating Engagement, you are responsible for managing / correcting Dis-Engagement as well. Because that’s how you have a Relationship, that’s Interactivity – you analyze, and react. If you don’t, this is what can happen.
You wanted Interactivity, right? What part of the Interactive premise says you can walk away from the Customer Relationships you have created? That you’re “finished” after the Relationship is created? That attitude is so old-school Marketing.
For many Marketing folks, what this all means they need to change from understanding “who the customer is” (demographics) to “what the customer does” (behavior) as being the primary segmentation concern. Understanding Desirability means understanding how people use or consume products over time. It’s about the behavior of consumers, regardless of how old or young, rich or poor, or what their zip code is.
What’s happening at a higher level is this: There are business models that are truly customer-centric, and there are those that are not. People prefer dealing with a model that is customer centric – and they always have. But over the past several decades, they have not had much choice in this matter.
Insert your favorite “Corner Grocery Store” tale here.
Then came the web. The web represents interactivity on a mass scale. People like interactivity. But it’s a different kind of relationship, and demands a customer-centric business model to be really successful. You can’t just put a topping of interactivity on the old mass Marketing model most folks are using online and expect it to work for you.
That’s called a Meatball Sundae.
In the past, the number of companies in the “not centric” category dwarfed those in the “centric” category. Then the web happened, and companies that never had contact with the end customer before, and were insulated from interactivity, now all of a sudden had to open contact centers. Interactivity was forced on them.
It’s not that customers did not want direct relationships, and the web somehow gave them “power” or put them “in control”. It’s just now people have experienced these kind of relationships with more companies than they ever could before, and they want this kind of relationship with every company they deal with. So the environment at companies not used to the customer-centric idea feels like customers are taking control.
The customer is only in control if you are using the wrong Marketing model in an interactive world. If you are using the right model, there should be no reason customers would want to take control in the first place.
This is what customer-centricity really means.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Choose Your Marketing / Business Model.
Update: See this post from Alan on why Marketing might need to Analyze and take Action on dis-Engagement.
Now that we’ve powered through the Strategic landscape, on to the Tactical “OK, so what do we do now?” part of the program in the next couple of posts.
Comments on these ideas? Or are you all waiting for the Tactical stuff to jump in?