Meet the Expert
President, Kinanda Sustainable Brand Development
- 20 years experience in digital marketing, loyalty marketing and customer relationship marketing.
- Clients have included: Microsoft, AOL, Cisco, 3Com, EA, HP, Intel, Sun, Oracle, Wells Fargo, and Mindjet.
- Built and grew MRM Worldwide's agency account for Microsoft. Led launch of SharePoint, the highest-performing B2B campaign in history of Microsoft. Led the agency relationship with Microsoft's U.S. subsidiary, with $25MM in fees and $100MM media.
- Founded Kinanda Sustainable Brand Development, which helps brands and agencies cultivate behavior shifts and create sustainable institutional value and growth. Clients include Walmart, Virgin Atlantic, Destination British Columbia, Intel.
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- Companies are seeing a decline in revenues because they are not closing as many sales as they did previously.
- Often companies are successful at attracting prospects but fail to nurture those prospects effectively to close a maximum number of sales. Typically this happens because something is wrong with the way that they're nurturing potential customers in their pipeline, particularly with how they are engaging, nurturing, and supporting the shopping and exploration experience with customers.
For example, successful companies seamlessly connect the critical decision-making process experiences for their customers by linking rich and engaging web information, online shopping help, and ways for prospects to learn more whether by phone, online, in-store or through customer referrals. They carefully audit the impact that these experiences have on the rate with which they acquire new customers. These companies keep prospects engaged across the buying cycle and are much more likely to close the sale.
- Companies have multiple, disparate customer touchpoints that are siloed across different parts of the organization.
- Customer touchpoints can include sales, customer service, web sites, and brick and mortar locations, and usually each of those is managed by completely different parts of an enterprise. Too often this means that the customer has disconnected experiences, and they don't feel like they're dealing with one company, but rather completely different entities.
This can be really confusing and off-putting to customers, particularly when their information isn't shared among the various parts of the organization, and each time they interact with a touchpoint, they feel like they are starting from scratch. Also, when customer engagement strategies aren't well orchestrated across an organization they can be very confusing to customers.
- Social media channels are often handled outside the customer-facing communications space.
- More and more, conversations that are relevant to customer service happen in social channels like Facebook and Twitter. But companies often don't know how to engage with customers, especially unhappy ones, in that space. Customer service often sees those areas as outside their comfort zone, but they simply have to learn how to deal with it because that's where so much of the action is now. Social media best practices really need to be integrated into the overall experience of the customer.
- Employees, no matter where they are in the company, are inadequately trained in how to represent the brand to customers.
- All employees who are customer-facing should be trained in best practices not just for customer relations, but how exactly to represent the brand in every interaction. For example, many companies launch internal programs that incentivize employees to embrace company-wide customer service values, and learn new ways of delighting customers. Employees across all disciplines gain knowledge, skills, and insights that make it fun and easy for them to support high-impact relationships with customers.
- Companies don't always know how to adequately protect customer privacy.
- Not properly protecting customer privacy and failing to follow laws regarding customers' privacy can create massive liabilities for businesses. It's crucial that companies know how to effectively apprise privacy. The laws in the U.S. are very stringent, but elsewhere, laws can vary from country to country, so understanding them in terms of how they relate to the types of information about your customers you can use and what you can reveal is important to protecting your company.
Everything from email anti-spam laws, to social media, to what data you gather on people who click on your web site should be understood with respect to what you can and can't do in interacting with customers and gathering and using their data.
- Most organizations are not using "big data" effectively.
- According to CMO.com, less than 30 percent of organizations feel like they have a handle on their data. Most companies have access to a tremendous amount of data on their customers – not just what they purchase or how they interact with customer service, but how they're behaving online and what kinds of things they're interested in.
Most organizations house and evaluate this information in silos. For example, they'll look at what happened with an email campaign in terms of open rates, but they won't look at click-through and sales rates to see if a campaign actually did impact the bottom line. Or they'll look only at email data and not at the web communications data garnered at the same time to see what dynamic was created, which means they're missing out on an opportunity to optimize programs.
Most commonly, companies don't take the time to analyze the results of specific marketing communications over time – not just days or weeks, but months or even a year – or piece together what data from different silos (say online advertising, social, and customer service) can demonstrate about customer behavior.
Customer Life Cycle Marketing: Common Problems