You pull up outside of your hotel and the doorman greets you with a question, “Good afternoon are you staying with us for the first time?” You say “no” you have been here before. The doorman nods, adjusts his cap and carries your bags to the front desk. Upon hearing your name the check –in attendant says “Welcome back Mr. Smith,” You think wow how did they know that? Thus begins a very positive customer experience.
Lisa Arthur the CMO of Teradata Applications said in a recent seminar that 80% of customers will defect if they have a bad experience with your company. On the other hand 5-10% will spend more if their experience is good. In other words customer experience matters and has a big effect on your bottom line.
Communications between company components sharing customer information is vital. It doesn’t have to be “hi-tech” though. In the case illustrated above the doorman would adjust his cap one way or the other depending if you had stayed at the hotel before. The check-in attendant would know if you were a rookie or a veteran by noticing the cap and would welcome you accordingly.
According to Arthur marketers don’t control their brand anymore, the customers do. Customers want to do business where they feel comfortable. Company produced self-promoting messages / white papers / articles won’t cut it anymore. Prospects and customers want timely, valuable, and relevant information. Most will consider and be influenced by peer recommendations. Most importantly they want to feel important and valued.
There are many ways marketers can now connect with and enhance their customer’s experience. Marketing automation has made it possible to determine who has visited your website, what they have done while they were there, how long they stayed on a particular page, what they downloaded, and perhaps if they forwarded any information to others. This data can become extremely valuable information because a prospect can be scored based on what they have done. With permission from the prospect a marketer can send her additional information by email or other channels that will further enhance their experience. With scoring the customer’s level of engagement can be tracked and information provided to the individual focused on their particular needs. If / when the customer is ready she can be contacted by a sales person to close business. Once a sale has been made this customer can be used to help tell others and become a brand “evangelist”.
Marketing automation is not just for the big guys, the enterprise users. Companies such as Act-On, Right on Interactive, and Leadsius (a startup from Sweden) are offering smaller companies (0-10 $Million) a way to get in slowly with a minimal up-front investment.
The marketing world is changing at an exponential pace. As Lisa Arthur says Data is the new plastic (for all of you that fans of the movie “The Graduate”). Please read her book, “Big Data Marketing – Engage Your Customers More Effectively and Drive Value.”
As the quote goes the world is made up of three kinds of people those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wonder what is happening. Learn about marketing automation, experiment and get into the game. Make things happen for your business. Something as small and low tech as a tip of hat can and will make a difference when tied into a larger strategy.
Until next time – all the best!