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Marketing: Why Everyone Should Get Involved
Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 02:13 PM by Admin

A new era of strong customer engagement is here with us. Today, marketers are adjusting to innovative ways of marketing, for example social-media management; different programs to enhance advertising campaigns on television, online, and in print; including added staff with Web skills to handle the outburst of digital consumer environment. But according to experiences, that alone won’t bring real results home.

To really engage customers who drive advertising is growingly becoming irrelevant, businesses should do a lot more outside the limits of conventional marketing structures. Ultimately, consumers no longer divide the link between marketing and the item for consumption—it is the product. There’s no division between marketing from their online or in-store experience—it is the experience.

This shift obviously brings a huge challenge: if each person is responsible for marketing, who’s blamed? Also, what does this new certainty mean for the organization and charter of the department of marketing? It’s a predicament that matches the one that surfaced a while ago, the day’s of quality movement, actually before it was finally entrenched in the fabric of overall management.

Fundamentally, businesses need to be marketing vehicles, with the marketing team itself assumes the role of consumer-engagement engine, in charge for instituting priorities and fueling dialogue in the whole company as it looks to design, build, manage, and revamp advanced consumer-engagement approaches.

As that change takes center stage, the entire marketing institution won’t be the same: a greater allocation of existing marketing undertakings to other tasks will be experienced; additional councils and unofficial alliances that organize marketing tasks across the business will be realized; stronger affiliations with outside vendors, customers, and possibly even your competitors will become evident; and a huge role for data-driven consumer insights. Today’s editorial will show some real-life instances of these kinds of adjustments.

Marketing’s revolutionary is being redefined on a daily basis. Though, it’s still difficult to find definitive map illustrating how business can fruitfully take the helm in the epoch of engagement, we are optimistic to help top executives—and not just salespersons— begin to draw one.

Pervasive marketing

To engage consumers every time they interact with the company— be it on the phone; responding to an e-mail, an online review, a blog post, or physically in a store—marketing must spread through the entire organization. Businesses like Zappos and Starbucks have made strong engagement as their vital source of competitive upper hand from the start; already demonstrating some of these attributes. Such kinds of actions anyone can practice as they endeavor for first-class consumer engagement.

A mind-set shift around consumer interaction platform is the starting point. An organization usually sees them as if they are “owned” by a given role: for example, marketing assumes ownership of brand management; retail department owns the in-store experience; sales team takes the ownerships of consumer relations. In the current marketing environment, businesses need to get out of traditional consumer engagement as a cycle of isolated interactions and instead do as customers do: a collection of related interactions – that if added together – shapes the customer experience.

That attitude should fuel fresh dialogue among senior staff team about who should assume the role of designing the overall structure of touch points to build a compelling consumer engagement, and then who constructs, operates, and revamps each touch point constant with that general vision. No point to be bothered by customary functional or company unit ownership: anyone who is best placed to undertake an activity should proceed.

Design

Having a better designed consumer-engagement approach and experience largely depends on having an insight of how exactly people interact with an organization during their decision journey. Interaction may well be with the produce itself or with marketing, service, sales, public relations, or any other aspect of the business.

A good example is Starwood, a group hotel that sought to increase its engagement with consumers, where it absorbed thorough information about them and spotted clear demographic groups accommodated at its 1,000 plus properties. Then the company in 2006 unveiled a definite new positioning in its entire brand portfolio, scaling in inexpensiveness from Four Points by Sheraton then to its Luxury Collection and finally St. Regis.

Each brand gets to bring a different customer experience, on aspects ranging from the actual treatment guests are given by staff to the kind of toiletries provided in rooms. Importantly, for each kind of property, Starwood sought after designing not only the preferred experience but how it would be delivered as well. As a result, it had to come to a decision what coordination may be needed across functions, who is to assume operational control on different touch points, including the kind of content consumers want featured in the business’ Website, in loyalty plan mailings, and other various forms of communication.

Starwood’s experience emphasizes the fact that, regardless of the growing force of digital touch points for example social media, successful customer engagement should thrive beyond pure communication and incorporate service or the product experience itself. “In the end, we fly just the same planes like everybody else. And if customers are satisfied, they’ll spread the good experience and get others come and enjoy the same and they themselves will come back again—that’s a powerful marketing tool,” alleges Steve Ridgway, chief executive Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Build

After a business designs the platform of which it will engage with customers, it must also have organizational capacity to deliver: and that includes additional staff, creating a social-media network infrastructure, shifting reporting structures or reorganizing customer care operations. Tasks taken away from marketing usually have significant roles to play, thus some marketing staff at the center possibly will have to build expertise in other areas of a business.

Assigning responsibility for fostering touch points is gradually imperative because of the level to which Web-based interaction is compelling organizations to build “broadcast” media. A few have established publishing divisions to supply the ever-rising demand for content required by businesses’ Websites, multimedia sites, social media, internal and external publications, coupons and various promotions. Most luxury-goods companies, for instance, have established editorial staff to “socialize” their products: they’re shifting the customer connection by creating blogs, digital journals, and more relevant content that can considerably deepen both the frequency and intensity of interactions.

Operate and revamp

However, for businesses in industries as diverse as end user packaged goods and financial institutions, technology has overturned the engagement hopes of consumers, who, apparently, would like a Website to stopover and a connection impeccably integrated across touch points. Rallying such prospects requires exceptional operational coordination and receptiveness in tasks scaling from supplying on-the-ground service delivery to building online content to staying in the fore front of customer care concerns.

Out of sight, that reality creates a need for management and conflict resolution systems within and throughout functions, on top of budget formulas that allocate flexibility and swift action should any need occur.

The main hurdle to engagement is managerial rather than conceptual: considering the escalating number of touch points where consumers now interact with businesses, marketing a lot can’t accomplish what’s wanted all on its own. If businesses don’t make the shift, they run the danger of being stepped over by opponents that have overcome the new age of engagement.

 

Tags: customer engagement, consumer engagement, marketing organization, marketing structures, sales and marketing
 

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