Marketing is more than KPIs, it’s service

By Ryan Phelan

As long as I have been in marketing and email (and that’s a long, long time), the mantra most thought leaders have repeated is: “Think about your subscribers, and deliver the brand promise that got you the acquisition in the first place.”

That means you’re offering relevant communications every time you send an email.

As an industry, we need to be smarter, to act more strategically instead of relying on tactics to reach our goals.

Sounds good, right? But today, I’m looking at my inbox and deleting every email that doesn’t have anything to do with me. It makes me wonder, “What are we doing here?”

What are you doing, and why are you doing it?

Your job as a marketer is to serve your customers and to advance your brand story. Some might say their job is “I gotta sell my wares. I gotta drive my KPIs.” And I would say, “I have a responsibility to the people who gave me their email addresses because I’m in the inbox they check many times a day.”

I fully realize the challenge of delivering value, telling the brand story and showing customers that you value them is not easy. What I see is people saying they’re committed to customer service, but it’s a commitment to customer service when things go wrong.

Today, we are living in what Forrester calls the Age of the Customer, and the expectations are different.

Here’s what noted Forrester analyst Rusty Warner says about the concept:

“Empowered customers are quickly becoming entitled customers who expect consistent, high-value experiences, regardless of channel. On their own, traditional marketing campaigns are ineffective at meeting these demands.

The challenge is to align deeply personalized outbound communications with customer-driven inbound interactions throughout the customer life cycle. In short, brands must win customers in their moments of need.

And, to ensure the brand’s success, marketers must leverage real-time analytics and insights to orchestrate contextually relevant experiences. While campaigns are not dead, they must evolve to ensure that these experiences are anticipatory, frictionless, and immersive.”

3 constituencies marketers must serve

There are three ways we can be of service to our customers without waiting for something to go wrong:

1. Marketers must serve their subscribers, customers and fans by using technology and going the extra mile.

Simply put, this means marketers have to think of their customers first, not their marketing objectives. When we talk about putting strategic planning ahead of tactical planning, the strategy should emphasize this question: “What are we doing to help the customer make a choice?”

To achieve their goals, many companies will say, “We need to sell thousands of dollars of crap. How do we get the customer to buy our crap?” The proper response is, “What does the customer need that I have, and can we get sales from it?”

You probably think I’m naïve. But, so many times we blast the heck out of people and hope there’s a segment of people who want the crap we’re blasting. That doesn’t serve our customers.

Use the technology available to you: The last time …read more

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