Create your own mind maps at MindMeister
Create your own mind maps at MindMeister
Are you making promises you can’t keep? Chances are you are and now you can’t hide . There is so much pressure to deliver more than the competitor next door that it forces many small businesses to over commit and under deliver. When your service has become a commodity it is a pressure that is constant.
However customers are now seeking authenticity, transparency and collaboration. We want to engage with brands we identify with and trust. To do this we need to be sure that you are going to deliver what you say and keep your promises! Phoniness can now push consumers away because it is not what it says it is.
Consider clothing retailer Gap Inc. Its advertisements over the past decade, featuring line dancers and celebrities, have had several effects. First, they put off many current customers who saw images portraying Gap as different from how these individuals saw themselves. Gap no longer conformed to (and thereby confirmed) their own self-images. With each successive ad, the Wall Street Journal observed, such consumers grew “tired of [the] trendiness.” Second, in-store displays merely paid lip service to the advertisements — actual interactions with sales personnel fell far short of the energy and enthusiasm displayed in the ads.All Gap stores — thousands of them — look exactly alike.Gap’s advertising says “Unique,” but the in-store experience falls far short of what it says it is.
Or think of any airline, hotel, or even hospital; if you could only check into the ads, you’d have a great experience. When you check into the actual place, however, it so often falls short of what the ads represented. When it comes to the Is What It Says It Is standard of authenticity, the easiest way to be perceived as phony is to advertise things you are not.
The Dove real beauty campaign was such a success because it focused on real promises and achievable success.Your promises don’t have to be extra ordinary but they have to be real.A promise only works as long as it hasn’t been broken. Don’t make promises you can’t keep because someone who has put their faith in you only to be disappointed won’t make the same mistake twice, and they’ll warn all their friends away from you as well using sites like womo.com.au, trip advisor, product review and more.
But the converse is also true. When you are able to over-deliver on your promise and give people more than they asked for they will eagerly become your biggest fans.
So if you are going to stand for something and make a promise you better make sure you are going to deliver it every time. Every touch point has to be delivering on that promise. We know that this has become more critical today than ever before, which is why we have built Strategic Service Design to align your service to the promises it makes.
Worst still is to lie because there is no where to hide. Make good on your promises or you will be out of business.
I must admit I am a bit of an Aldi shopper. Basically cos it is cheaper! A whole lot cheaper. I love Aussie Farmers and I do a bit of this too because I am so busy and it is convenient and supports local farmers which for me is important. This weekend I was in a rush and I knew that Coles would have everything I needed so I went there the first time in months. I am glad I did. They totally got me. They know that they can’t really win on price with players like Aldi in the marketplace, but they can deliver differentiated product just made for me. They just get me! From packaging kids snacks, to location of stock so it is logical, to pre-packaged meals that take the guess work out of a tasty recipe and (it actually take 15 minutes to make unlike some TV recipes)
They have a number of markets I believe they are seeking to serve with clear offerings:
So good on you Coles you have won me back. Your options and product packaging have told me that you have gone the extra mile to understand your market and while the teenager on the desk serving me was half asleep and not a least bit interested in conversation, I will forgive you this as it beats the Aldi tolley slug pack and unpack routine any day. If a grocery store can start to think like their customers, why can’t you? It is even more important as a service based business. How can you offer a service that is differentiated? Are you listening to your customers?
PS Lamb shanks that are pre-cooked for 5 hours are dellish!
Learn more at Strategic Service Design.
I was asked the other day to explain the role of a marketing manager. It is a good question because it has changed so much over the past few years. I love this Gartner map that outlines all the areas that a marketer needs to be across today.
Lets look at each section in turn.
Strategy – Understanding market opportunities, cultivating markets and customers, generating demand and awareness.
Marketing Management – Business processes and tools associated with implementing the marketing activities
User experience – the discipline associated with creating customer experiences that meet business objectives.
Analytics – the process of discovering meaningful patterns in data.
Creative – services and tools that supports the implementation of marketing programs.
Ad Tech – managing advertising through all the channels (web, social, offline, mobile) – targeting, design and bid management, optimising and reporting and automation.
Real Time Data – can now be provided by geotargetting and other technologies to assist us reach prospects on the fly
Search – to help get found and find things on the web.
Social – applications, technologies and environments that build social communities
Mobile – communication, applications and wireless devices (smart phones, tablets, portable computers)
Emerging technologies – new technologies that consumers are adopting, 3D televisions, solar cars, google glasses. Only very early adopters. 5% of the market.
So as I see it the role is enormous. In the coming years I see more experts being created around each area of expertise. The intersection between customer centricity, strategy and technology is my sweetspot. Learn more.
Here is a good slideset on the future of Marketing
Smart Customers, Stupid Companies is a must read book. It details how we now as customers have access to more information than ever before, we have a microphone to share it and we know before we enter a conversation with you ten other competitors who we can go to at a click of a button.
We are getting smarter every day too! We download an app to answer or address any number of questions we might have. Our Iphone or Ipad are our communication, shopping, curating, productivity and relationship device. How stressed would we be if we lost it?
On the company side, many are slow, inflexible, have layers of red tape, inconvenient and a non existent customer centric culture. The old approach to business doesn’t work any more. We are not getting the experience we want and with the world as our shopping trolley we vote with our click! We have access to information at a click of a button but can the same be said for employees?
The book refers to some key disruptive forces:
Bruce Kasanoff is a speaker, author and business strategist who helps companies profit from disruptive forces, rather than fall victim to them.
Bruce helps companies understand what comes next, and how they can leapfrog their competitors. His entire career has focused on helping companies leverage emerging technologies to better grow revenues and serve their customers. Bruce with co-author Michael Hinshaw have asserted that our tolerance to mistakes by companies we engage in is reducing. We now have more information before we engage with them.Companies are still slow to recognise this and so rather than leverage the same disruptive forces like:
Companies are not keeping pace with our need to have a better experience with them. Well most anyway.Bruce believes that it is hard and hard to get away with business the old way. Give us money and we will sell you something. Companies need to use these forces to reinvent but also questions are not really are not doing a good enough job and have to do something about this.
A Bain & Company research study showed that while 80% of managers thought their firm was providing a superior customer experience, only 8% of those firms’ customers agreed.Now that seems stupid.
Bruce’s website Now Possible
Smart Customers website
One could read these results as a more cautious reading of what ‘customer-centricity’ means for a corporate audience. The ideal espoused by Bob Thompson of Customer Think is of a ‘customer-inspired’ business, which
“Thinks deeply about what customers are trying to accomplish in their business and personal lives, and create new ways to add value before they ask”
But perhaps corporate practitioners’ understanding of ‘customer-centricity’ is lower down Thompson’s “Customer-Centric Pyramid” – at the ‘Customer-Driven’ phase:
Incite shares some brilliant interviews with different marketers.
“To be honest, no, we didn’t. It’s naturally a part of who we are. It’s not forced, it’s what we believe. It’s how we have always been.
One of the core principles in our company stems from the notion of ‘the golden rule’ – treating our consumers the way we want to be treated ourselves if we were buying that product.
But because my team is so closely linked to the consumer – through our visual engagement team and customer loyalty team, amongst others – we make sure that everything we’re saying is consistent with our DNA. And that it’s something that consumers can really get involved in.Everything we try to create is around being authentic and transparent like that.”
What steps have you taken to achieve that aim? What have you done to make L’Oreal more customer-centric?
“We’ve done a lot of work around the path to purchase. We partnered with McKinsey, to help us rethink how consumers are actually approaching, and how they think about purchasing, beauty.
That led us to move from the traditional funnel metaphor to a more circular path to purchase. In this circular model, it all starts with consideration, then moves to evaluation, to purchase, and then to advocacy. Understanding when people move from one step to another, by each category, is very important for us.
Moving forward, we then use those learnings to think differently about our Go To Market strategies as we launch products.”
To get there, we’re doing a lot around gathering customer insights, both in terms of improving our existing experiences, and in terms of helping design new experiences for customers.
We’re also fixing a whole lot about today’s experience, and we’re making more consistent experiences across multiple products, markets, channels of communications, channels of interaction.
For us, we’re trying to stand out in terms of our brand promise as enabling and emboldening consumers, and to act in their financial interests, and what we’re finding is that all of our competitors are talking about scaring people. Scaring people into buying this product because it’s something they need, and what we’re trying to say is that this is in your control – solutions to help you secure your financial future and realise your dreams.
We’re spinning this as ‘we’re giving you the tools, you can do this’. And to do that and to be successful in delivering that promise, we absolutely need to be customer-centric. We need to be absolutely simple, intuitive, easy to work with, and be providing these kinds of tools that help people feel that confidence – and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
– See more at: http://incitemc.com
– See more at: http://incitemc.com/new-internal-models-for-marketing-and-communications/#sthash.zxSJT229.dpuf