It is not enough to try one tactic and expect a campaign to work well. It usually takes a number of touch points for a customer to be nurtured, trust you and try what you have to offer. Today, the conversation with our customers and prospects never ends.
A truly great marketing strategy leverages the appropriate marketing tactics in a combination that is right for the intended buyer. Most businesses take a fragmented approach to marketing channels. This is becoming ever more noticeable with new platforms entering the mix including mobile, apps, SEO, PPC and social media platforms like Pinterest.
In CRM, the focus is the technology organising and automating relationships with customers and prospective customers. It often has a focus upon efficiency rather than upon the customer experience.
Integrated marketing combines three elements that are closely related to service design; an understanding of consumer behaviour, focus upon brand and the link to customer experience. Integrated marketing takes a holistic view of services, in which coordination of touch-points is one major part of linking what is termed contact experiences to the brand.
As a savvy marketer, you need to be able to understand the behaviour of your audience to pick the right mix of tactics and use them at the right time. It takes excellent strategic skills and the ability to translate your marketing into the right messaging to reach your target audience. All the data can be found out there but you need to understand it, analyse it and use it. More than this, it takes an empathy for customer buying behaviour that is often missing to ensure that the mix of touch points are appropriate. You need an inside out approach or customer centricity.
To own the buyer’s journey, we need to have a manageable set of critical touch points that allows us to focus and have a better impact on our customers’ perceptions. These touch points need to be distinctive, well conceived and synchronised. We need to break down the customer experience into distinct moments from the customers point of view according to AmicusBA whitepaper:
- Customers’ most urgent needs, insecurities, expectations upon a an approach point?
- What transactions and interactions take place?
- How should touch-points draw people in?
- What products and services, enhancements speak to a customer segments aspirations, motivations and captures your customers attention?
- What information is captured?
- What knowledge is used and what is shared across other touch points?
How to keep your touch points synchronised via DeSantis Breindel:
1. Keep the dialogue going and growing
A dialogue about a company’s product or service on Facebook, for instance, can spill over to Twitter and overnight, lead to a far-ranging conversation with thousands of voices and lots of feedback. By understanding the dynamic and keeping the dialogue going, smart B2B companies can lead the prospect through the conversation to the sales sweet spot: consideration for his or her short-list.
2. Connect multiple platforms
All touch-points feed one another and become connected in a web of conversation. A print or online ad with a url can lead to a microsite where a corporate buyer can download a white paper or watch a YouTube video offering valued information and insight. Or an outdoor ad can invite corporate prospects to scan a QR code with their mobile device and take them to a microsite with more information.
3. Don’t forget employees
Employees are a critical part of the customer touch-points for a company. They are not only the face of the company in every interaction with clients and prospects, they are active in social media, business networking and society in general. Today businesses who empower employees with a compelling brand messaging platform, and help them to understand their importance in their company’s and their own prosperity, can activate a consistently strong brand identity at thousands of touch points. These companies understand that it is important to link brand strategy with brand behaviour so that you not only talk the talk but walk the walk.
MacInnis Marketing does a customer centricity workshop and maps out the customer touch points based on the following concepts. In May we will be offering this as a free workshop with the Glen Eira Council.
1. Mapping the existing situation
2. Identifying the current pain points
3. Which is the best sort of touch point in each case
4. How do all of these touch points create the best customer experience
5. What touch points need to be added or removed
6. Who or what owns each touch point
7. How do we synchronise all the touch points
8. How do we set up feedback systems