Excellence in marketing is continually being reshaped and redefined.
New approaches, seismic changes and extreme levels of transparency are just a few of the factors creating an ever-changing landscape for marketing. What is possible and what is required is continually evolving.
In my recent post, I talked about the need for Agility, Authenticity and Passion along with the “four C’s” which describe the pillars of great marketing today. Let’s take a look at some examples of great marketers and great companies who are putting these pillars into practice.
Customer-centric. Customers are in control. They decide how and when to connect with you and your company and they vote with their online voice, dollars and attention. Customer engagement – an elusive achievement — is the number one asset to a business today and the number one goal for marketing to pursue. Customer engagement is only possible when customer’s wants and needs are put at the center of everything we do
A simple and elegant example of customer-centricity is My Starbucks Idea. By encouraging customer-generated ideas, Starbuck’s allows individuals to post and vote on new ideas for Starbuck’s offerings. During the last 5 years, there have been 275 customer ideas that have been turned into Starbuck’s products. Customer-centric innovation enhances customer loyalty, customer experience and in turn drives business results.
Curious. Navigating channels and capabilities that crop up overnight requires an innate sense of curiosity and a proactive zest for continual learning. Staying current with and then leveraging warp-speed trends and developments and is a must-have tool in every marketer’s toolkit.
For example, Sony Music Entertainment – with the help of Universal Mind — was able to create an emotional and engaging connection between fans and artists with a special customer experience via the latest digital and mobile technologies. Jimi Hendrix—The Complete Experience, is an iOS 5 app built on Universal Mind’s pioneering Digital Experience Framework which provides customers with a rich story via videos, text, photos, audio, gaming and interactive graphics for mobile devices. During its first week in the App Store, the Jimi Hendrix app became #2 among free iPad music apps.
Communicative. Content and communication are cornerstones of marketing today. It is no longer viable to broadcast messaging; true interactive communication that is relevant to your customers is the way to win hearts and minds. More communication is not better. Relevant, meaningful content and conversations that cut through the clutter is what matters.
American Express is a great example of a company who understand how to communicate openly and relevantly with their SMB customers. AMEX Open is a branded community that leverages social media to connect, communicate and engage SMB’s in highly relevant content – not about AMEX products, but about topics most important to SMB’s. Relevance drives revenue and for AMEX, knowing how to help their customers via relevant content and connections, has resulted in high levels of SMB engagement and loyalty.
Connected. The rise in peer-to-peer marketing networks is indicative of the power and importance of building bridges and networks. As Porter Gale, former CMO of Virgin Airline, eloquently points out in her latest book title, “Your Network is Your Net Worth”.
For me personally, as a member of several peer-to-peer marketing associations such as The CMO Council, The CMO Club, BMA and others, I have experienced tremendous benefits as a result of my peer-to-peer marketing connections.
As our marketing and business landscape shifts incessantly, we need to redefine how to survive the shifts, switches and turns. Adopting a new mindset, approach and skills requires courage and determination. I suggest starting with the “four C’s” of customer-centric curious, communicative and being connected.
What do you think?
This article republished from Sandra’s blog.