We marketers spend so much time on our marketing, we can be forgiven for thinking that it’s the first and last word about the brand.
Perhaps there was a time when this was more or less true. Not today.
Today, the conversation about brands, services and products is never more than a couple of clicks away. People have more tools than ever to find out what other people really think about the things we sell. Advertising is a smaller and smaller part of the conversation.
That’s why an integrated growth plan must start with the behaviors and beliefs of the audience. It needs to embrace the entire brand experience. The customer journey becomes the road map. By prioritizing the touch points with the greatest leverage, real results improvement can often be achieved in short order.
So, what about the 57%? That’s the part of the buying process that a prospect typically engages in before they talk to someone from the company. The other 43% is important, but the whole 100% is where the winners play.
Key #6 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here.
One of my clients once told me about The Wall.
“The Wall” is what she called it.
“I’m squeezing my brain, my team, my budget and every hour of the day to build this thing, while all around us there are new services gaining market share with little or no advertising.
“My product is dated and it shows – yet I’m in my marketing silo and don’t have the power to change it.
“I know total marketing success requires a product that does a better job of selling itself, but what do I do without the power and the tools to make that happen?”
I told her that she wasn’t the only marketer facing The Wall. Yesterday, the best marketer with the deepest pockets won. Today, everyone is a click away from customer comments and reviews. That means the best customer experience wins.
Fortunately for my client and others like her, customer experience isn’t just about function. It’s not even primarily about function. It’s more about emotion and meaning. Which means that marketing is as much a part of a winning product as the product itself is.
My new client and I determined to work with our teams to do two things:
1) We would determine the emotional meaning of her brand.
2) We would use every lever, every touchpoint, to enhance that meaning.
We remade the aspects of customer experience that she could influence. And then we measured the results.
Based on those results, my client quickly developed the reputation of a “fixer” in her company. She was given responsibility for overseeing the website – effectively the core delivery of the product – in addition to marketing. Extending our insight about the emotional meaning of the brand deep into the customer journey yielded still greater incremental results.
Today, my client can work just about anywhere. Fortunately for us, she’s extremely happy and highly valued right where she is.