Relationship marketing has taken 30 years to mature into a mainstream discipline. Today its principles and practices form the bedrock of a new marketing model based on putting customer needs first.
Marketing has reached a turning point: either it abandons the brand building model first invented nearly a century ago, or it will almost certainly fall victim to the forces of disruption. While no one knows what a next generation planning model looks like, everyone agrees it will take a big shift in thinking to get right.
Ever since reward programs first became popular over fifty years ago, marketers have been trapped into thinking that customer loyalty can be bought. But customers today are looking for more than just rewards - they want to be treated honestly and fairly.
Marketers have been slow to adapt to a post-campaign world where the old familiar rules of brand-building are obsolete. To connect with customers today marketers must not only manage channel complexity, they must make the brand more relevant and central to their lives.
There are many ways to segment customers based on value. But to know who is truly valuable, data analysis must be combined with market segmentation and loyalty research. This triangulated view will not only inspire creative thinking – it can even be used to predict future behaviour.
In this age of uninhibited self-expression, when almost everyone has something to say or share, marketing must modernize its communication model to have any chance of joining the conversation.
Half a century ago IBM revolutionized computing by separating programs from hardware. Today a comparable revolution is underway: the shift to browser-based applications in the cloud. But that poses a dilemma for marketers: how do they combine multiple standalone applications to form a unified marketing ecosystem?
Businesses everywhere are under pressure to give up the ‘make and sell’ model, fearful of digital disruption. But while they concede the importance of improving the customer experience, the path to transformation can seem like an impossible journey: can businesses ever hope to keep pace with their customers?
The growing number of channels and devices has made it hard for companies to deliver a unified customer experience across touchpoints. Journey mapping gives companies a fighting chance to tame the complexity and catch up to the rising expectations of customers.
Marketing personas bring the defining characteristics of customers to life, helping to build universal consensus around their needs. For brands seeking to deliver a better experience, it is a powerful tool to foster greater insight and empathy.
Public trust in business as a force for good in society is at an all-time low. To convince people otherwise, consumer brands must prove they are committed to making the world a better place.
Now that customer experience trumps media advertising, brands need marketing partners who will help them think differently. To stay in the game, ad agencies will need to reinvent themselves.
For marketers to succeed at location-based marketing, they need to create “ownable experiences” where a brand can uniquely help people in the context of the moment. Anticipating what a customer intends to do will become just as important as knowing what they have done in the past.
For a company to deliver an outstanding customer experience, it must first embrace the values of the people it serves. But most companies are organized to put profit ahead people. How do they pivot from serving shareholders to putting the needs of customers first?
As marketers reluctantly wave goodbye to the attention economy, they have reason to be concerned about their future. How can marketers adapt to a world where people hardly pay attention to advertising anymore?