To summarize, there areÂ significant forces in play that require Marketing folksÂ to realize that optimizing Marketing goes far beyond media, message, response, and all the traditional MarCom stuff.
To take advantage of these changes,Â there has to beÂ a Strategic admission that Sales, Marketing,Â and Service are all parts of a customer-centric whole.Â Interactivity forces this on you; it’s a Relationship Marketing environment.
CMO’s have an opportunity to step up and take control of this situation.Â If they don’t, the job of integrating these disciplines will be handed to a Chief Customer Officer, Chief Experience Officer, or some other needless C-Level fabrication.Â And that’s not really going to work, it’s a partial solution.
For those of youÂ with BrandÂ asÂ your current primary focus, it shouldÂ be easy to make the argument about why this integration matters and why you should be in charge of it.Â Â If you don’t do something about really integrating all the customer facing disciplines, examples abound of the Brand damage that can occur.
No amount of “Advertising” can fix Brand rot, you have to get to the Root Cause, which is probably cross-functional in nature.Â It really doesn’t makeÂ sense to ignore excellence in execution and then react to the problems caused when you can discover, address, and fixÂ theseÂ issuesÂ beforeÂ they happen.
Here are someÂ ideas to think about on the Tactical side:
1.Â Don’t use Mass Media toÂ try and build / closeÂ Relationships; that’s a waste of time.Â UseÂ Mass MediaÂ for what it’s very efficient at -Â creating Awareness and Intent.Â The first step of the 2-step, it’s the Push part.Â If Push sounds like it’s intrusive, remember people expect Push from Mass Media to begin with.Â You have the proper context; that’s whyÂ Mass Media can beÂ effective for Push.
Use unique taglines and phrases in the execution, knowing a search on the web is a high probabilityÂ next step.Â Google just released a study on what this looks like for newspapers. Make sure the web team is prepped for the Mass Media, that they have optimized the unique taglines and phrases for Search, both Paid and Organic.
2.Â Make sure the copy directly implies you are open for the Brand Promise to be tested in an interactive environment, where Brand Proof will take place.Â This will usually be the web, but it could be a call center or other venue.Â InviteÂ those with Intent to convert this Intent to Desire through Interaction with you; this is Pull.
Focus on driving curiosity and peaking Interest rather than selling, e.g. “Want to Know More?Â Here’s our web site…”
3.Â Pull is self-service, it’s about proper execution -Â consistency with the Mass message, ease of use, transparent, Relationship building.Â Potential customer is now driving, you are awaiting response.Â Answer the questions raised by the Brand Promise (on a web site or in the call center), allow them to be tested.
Don’t simply repeat the Promise – that job has already been done, it’s a waste of time, it’s redundant, not respectful.
Instead, fully and completely Expose the Brand Promise, let it stand for testimony.Â Allow Brand Proof to take place.Â This is not the time to be Intrusive; that’s out of context.Â Make it easy for the prospect to feed back the experience, and be ready for the dialogue.Â Relationship Marketing is an Exchange, a dance, two-way, back and forth.
React and Respond.Â Be “Social”, if you want to call it that.
This portion of the program – which might consist of many different campaigns driving traffic into it – is where failure most often occurs, and where you get into this whole “customer is in control” thing.
Like that’s a negative?Â What they are in control of is their own process, and what’s the matter with that?Â It’s enabling, empowering for the customer; it builds the Relationship.Â Hopefully, what you have done here is given control; as opposed to having it taken from you.Â Â There is a very big difference between the two.
If the customer has to “take control”, you’re doing something wrong.Â You have broken processes, you have cross-functional chaos, you’re notÂ enabling a dialog.Â Or you’ve inflated promises, created false expectations, at worst, told half-truths.Â You’re creating frustration.
That’s when customers feel like they have to take control from you.
That covers the Tactics for Aquisition (AIDA), I’ll tackle Retention (S)Â in the next post.Â As always, Comments on are appreciated.