When I first started working in marketing technology, I engaged with clients via telephone, email, online and face-to-face meetings. That’s how they preferred to communicate with us, so that’s how we made ourselves available to them. Nowadays, customers have the ability to discuss your products and services via Twitter, Facebook, and review sites like G2 Crowd. They want to spend less time on the phone and more time looking at their inbox. A hold time of two minutes until the next representative can speak with you is two minutes too long. We want answers and we want them now. Times have changed and marketing is evolving.
I think it’s pretty safe to say we have entirely changed the way we interact with brands. (i.e., Do you call the number on the back of a semi-truck to tell them what you think about their driving or do you tweet about it instead?) As a result, traditional CRM tools as we used to know them are, essentially, out of date. This is because marketing and sales teams are no longer solely managing customer relationships. In today’s consumer-driven world, marketers are now focused on creating and optimizing customer engagement across multiple marketing channels.
As a result, customer engagement is now your brand’s most valuable asset. With the relationship between marketing and customer engagement entering this new stage, there are several steps that organizations can take to smooth the transition.
- Deliver Consistency and Context. Deliver what you say you will and when you will. In addition, consistency is a key ingredient for social influence, brand loyalty, customer satisfaction and integrated marketing communications success. Consistent actions and messages deliver many positive benefits such as building trust and integrity, establishing authority, and improving revenue.
- Build a strong CMO & CIO relationship. PricewaterhouseCoopers identified a strong CIO-CMO partnership as one of the five critical factors to maximizing your technology investments in their 6th Annual Digital IQ Survey. In their survey, 70% of companies in the top quartile for revenue growth, profitability, and innovation had strong relationships between the CIO and the CMO.
- Empower marketing to execute on customer experience expectations. When marketers are given the right tools and insights, they can move beyond managing processes to developing a singular view of customers and linear customer journeys that are not in sync across channels. This enables marketing to improve personal interactions with customers, creating experiences that are consistent whether the customer clicks on a link provided in a tweet, visits the company website or meets face-to-face with a sales representative.
The changing relationship between marketing and customer engagement represents a permanent shift in the way brands relate to their customers. The best marketers will succeed by using advanced marketing solutions to develop a continuous cycle of listening to and engaging customers, while those who choose to disregard new technologies will fall behind.