Marketing: No Longer Business as Usual

November 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Originally posted on RBM BLOG
We are all aware of the disruption to the marketing status quo.

The question is how do we thrive in this new paradigm where the consumer is queen, and their data is the throne?

Marketing professionals were trained on the sales funnel concept that emerged when a lead became a customer. The ROI was conversion resulting in a sale; and traditional marketing tactics focused on generating high volumes of leads that led to increased sales. But the funnel has changed.

Check out the customer hourglass conceived by Jeremiah and the Altimeter team which visualizes the entire customer experience. It no longer stops at the sale, but extends to support, loyalty, advocacy, and product innovation. This is a dramatic change and marketing professionals need to rethink their approach to programs and campaigns.

Building relationships with customers extends far beyond the point of sale. There is an increased challenge for companies to deliver on the promise of the brand in every interaction with their customer. According to Kyle Lacy in his excellent blog post, “5 steps for turning customers into brand advocates”,“in this new model we want to focus on the who, not the how many.”

Basically, it is no longer enough to simply gather data on a customer’s actions of purchase and share; we need to extend our intelligence on customers to understand exactly what is driving them, the need that we are solving, and the reason they want to buy the product. And most importantly, would they recommend this product to a friend? To transform consumers into advocates for brands, we need to have a much deeper understanding of what motivates them, and identify what makes them passionate.

This means gathering more data, in more places, and more frequently. Most companies are simply not structured to operate this way, and in many cases the data on customers resides in in siloed departments throughout the company. This increases the need for internal collaboration and communication.

For marketing professionals to truly thrive utilizing a customer hourglass, they need to change the way in which they work, and the manner in which they approach marketing.

– Kirstin

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