Apr 18, 2013
Many companies today are struggling with how to provide real value to their customers and differentiate themselves from the competition. One approach that many have tried is to implement Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) programs to acquire, convert, and retain prospects and customers with the ultimate goal of creating loyal brand champions.
While this approach has been a step in the right direction of creating longer-term, more valuable relationships with customers, is an approach based on ACQUIRING, CONVERTING, and RETAINING really customer-centric? Or is this approach more brand-centric and focused on companies TELLING their customers what they want them to know about their brands and how THEY have determined customers will add value to their lives?
Of course, many companies invest time and resources in identifying key insights that inform the development of their CRM programs, but how much do they really understand the entire customer experience and how they could better design their brands and services to add value?
A different approach to answer this question is to focus on Customer Experience Management (CEM) vs. Customer Relationship Marketing. They may sound similar, but the approaches are very different. CEM focuses completely on the customers first and foremost and on identifying how you can add value throughout their entire experience with your brands and services.
CEM starts by conducting a Customer Experience Audit, where you map each step of the customer journey and identify the key moments of truth where decisions are being made. Within these key moments you identify what people are thinking, feeling, and doing. This informs key insights around needs, emotions, and behaviors that you can use to create opportunities for delivering real, tangible value for your customers. It’s this deeper, more meaningful relationship with customers that will deliver the loyalty and business impact for the companies who do it right.
Just think about the companies and brands who have delivered that type of EXPERIENCE for you. Maybe Apple, Nordstrom, Starbucks or Amazon? How loyal are you to their brands? And how often do you play an advocacy role for them without even knowing it?
While a true CEM approach has the potential to transform your entire organization, since it should be incorporated into all aspects of your business, you can start small and build from there. Maybe customers are trying to access support resources during the “doing” phase of their experience across several of your brands. Maybe you've organized the resources by brand, because that is how you are internally structured. But your customers may want to access them differently, so make it a better experience for them even if it doesn't align to your internal structures or budgets. Remember, true CEM is about them, not you; and how they interact with and talk about your brand ultimately controls your brand’s destiny.
Or what if a customer who was feeling overwhelmed and scared after the diagnosis of a serious condition called your call center for assistance after starting one of your brands and you were able to greet her with the knowledge that she is already enrolled in a support program via her physician’s office, walk her step-by-step through how to use your brand using content from your website and then deliver additional support resources immediately after the call. All because you took the time to connect your call center system to your marketing database. And what if you actually contacted the customer first, anticipating her specific needs?
These are just a few examples of how CEM can enhance your customers’ experience and create more value for your customers and you. So start mapping out your customer experiences and find those moments to add value throughout their journeys. And feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any of the tools we use in conducting the experience audit.
By Bob Muha, Vice President, Commercial Strategy, Roska Healthcare Advertising
Dec 6, 2012
We live in a multichannel world where we reach our audience when and where they’re most receptive. Multichannel marketing (MCM) exposes target audiences to brand messages using various types of media, including TV, radio, desktop, mobile, and social media. In this environment it is difficult, sometimes impossible, to make a direct connection between a tactic and a sale. And it is frequently irrelevant. What really matters most is your ability to capture the brand essence, engage your audience, and inspire them to take action. That happens over time through various campaigns and tactics. This ultimately is what drives sales.
Measurement is absolutely essential, but only when you measure elements that inform business decisions. These are the “need-to-know” metrics that influence sales. Otherwise, you are just crunching numbers for the sake of crunching numbers. For more insights, watch the video of the Direct Marketing Association’s interview with Roska Healthcare’s SVP of Planning, Metrics, and Analytics, Chuck McLeester, below.
What Do You Measure in a MCM World?
So what do you need to measure and why? At the Direct Marketing Association National Conference last month, Chuck McLeester identified four key areas to measure that impact business decisions and drive sales.
- Know where you start: Do benchmark research on brand awareness and measure the effect of increased brand awareness on sales
- Leverage every possible opportunity: Uncover hidden sales among non-responders by comparing the sales file to direct mail and e-mail solicitation files
- Measure the impact of each engagement: Create a customer engagement score to quantify how each interaction with a customer contributes to overall sales
- People are talking…listen and learn: Monitor conversations about your brand in social media and assign a dollar value to the brand conversation
So what measurement camp are you in—measure everything, or strictly use metrics on a “need-to-know” basis? E-mail me or post a comment below and let me know what you think.
So, the fact is that direct marketing measurement has changed dramatically now that we have a multichannel world. Many marketers struggle with attribution in this multichannel world. They want to know exactly where that order came from…what channel influenced the order. And my philosophy is that you only need to measure things that you’re going to make business decisions about.
So, if you are trying to attribute an order to a specific channel because you want to eliminate the under-performing channels, then great…you’re going to need some kind of an algorithm or some kind of a sophisticated method to attribute orders. But, if you’re convinced that, you know, you’re going to have a true multichannel strategy that reaches across all the channels and builds brand awareness at the same time that it’s generating response, then it doesn’t really matter how you attribute that order because you’re not going to eliminate any of the channels anyway.
When I decide to send a friend, flowers from 1-800-FLOWERS, and I type 1-800-FLOWERS into the web, it’s not something that’s attributable to a particular promotion. It’s something that is attributable to the brand essence that they’ve created over time in a multichannel environment.
Sep 5, 2012
The term multichannel marketing (MCM) confuses many people in our industry—often with good reason. Many marketers believe that developing an effective MCM campaign means nothing more than carrying a consistent look and feel of their core creative across a variety of media, only to be dismayed when their MCM campaign yields less-than-expected results.
The truth is, although the concept of MCM is centered on creative continuity across media, it’s much more than that. In order to achieve success, multiple forms of media must work seamlessly with one another to reach the audience when and where they’re most receptive. In pharma, this means connecting with doctors, patients, and caregivers online, in the car, on the train, at the doctor’s office, or wherever else they are throughout the course of their professional or personal healthcare journey. By paying close attention to the wants and needs of various stakeholder segments, and delivering your message through the medium that’s most effective for each, you’ll develop the capability to create an MCM campaign that truly works wonders for your brand.
7 Key Benefits of Doing MCM Right
- Customer information and insights derived from such an effort help maximize brand strategy and segmentation while allowing for reinforcement of brand messages
- A well-devised MCM strategy can help you recognize key appropriate customers across multiple channels, allowing for future channel development
- Channel integration and touch-point strategy can deliver a differentiated customer experience. Cadence and frequency are important to story flow
- Channel innovation—using best practices and the best technologies—provides a seamless delivery of the desired customer experience across all channels
- Digital can be woven throughout MCM so it does not act in a silo, but forms the connective tissue of the campaign that’s always on and available 24/7
- Coordinated channel execution supports the design, delivery, monitoring, and measurement of solutions for customers—ensuring better return on investment
- Keeping the best customers engaged exclusively with your brand will support a measurable ROI
By David Zaritsky, President and Kurt Mueller, Chief Digital & Science Officer Roska Healthcare Advertising