Ways to use Marketing to Improve Customer Experience & Customer Journey

http://www.interaction-design.org

The Customer Experience and Customer Journey is being disrupted by technology. The technology comes in the form of social channels such as the internet, mobile, social media, publishing platforms, audio books and video on demand. All of these channels have the effect of giving consumers instant access to information about products and services. Mobile is becoming the biggest channel with 6.2 Billion Devices projected globally by 2020 According to Ericsson’s Annual Mobility report.

The way customers request information is changing. They may approach Sales, Marketing and Customer Service or an independent source for information and help choosing a product.

Competition in every product and service category has never been higher. This marks a significant shift from the days of Mad Men where brands controlled information and the conversation. This marketing shift is known as information marketing through content or simply content marketing. As a result, Marketers and brands have to become the educators or teachers of consumers. To become the educators of consumers, brands have to become the industry resource to consumers; showing how their products can solve problems and improve the lives of consumers.

Content Marketing needs to be used in Sales, Marketing and Customer Service because customers expect a consistent experience through out their journey.

2017 State of Marketing Report Key Findings

The 2017 Salesforce State of Marketing report focuses on four emerging trends:

  • Marketing is undergoing an AI revolution. The marketers surveyed anticipate their AI use will grow more than 50 percent over the next two years, helping them deliver more targeted campaigns, smarter personalization and higher ROI.
  • Marketers realize the importance of delivering customer journeys, but are having a hard time breaking down silos between sales, service and marketing, and bringing customer data together to deliver on this vision.
  • Marketers are making significant organizational changes, within their own departments and in how they collaborate with others, such as sales and customer service.
  • Over the next two years, marketers expect to see unprecedented growth in their marketing technology usage.

“According to a recent research study by Forrester, 71 percent of consumers begin their journeys by using a search engine to discover new products and services (initiation), and 74 percent reported using a search engine for consideration and purchasing (research, comparison, transaction).”

https://searchengineland.com/value-search-across-modern-consumer-decision-journey-270021

Once brands convert prospects into customers, they still need to focus on and support customers post sale. Here is where Content Marketing can help. Brands can use Content Marketing for customer retention, cross-selling and up-selling. To take advantage of this, brands need to involve their Marketing, Sales and Customer service teams in their Content Marketing strategy.

Sales Teams

Sales teams can provide a lot of information about customers, product concerns or issues and objections they face. They are front line soldiers that have a direct line to customer intelligence.

Including the Sales Team in your content marketing strategy

Meet with the sales team and encourage them to compile a list of customer complaints, objections and questions about products that they face. Ask the team to create materials that address these concern that customers can access. This could take form of blog posts, Power-points FAQ’s, product demonstrations and tutorials.

If the sales team feels uncomfortable creating content, they could be interviewed by the marketing department. The marketing department could take content /basic materials, emails from the sales team and polish it up into visually appealing content that customers can access.

Customer Service

Similar to the sales team, your customer service teams are front line soldiers to help customers with issues they face at call centers or through social media. Ask them to write down complaints they get from customers with the answers. These complaints of FAQ’s could be put up on a web site via a PowerPoint presentation, blog etc… If this is not possible for the team, interview them, collect basic materials, emails, notes and create the content yourself.

Customer Retention

Sales and Customer service team are an important part to using a Content Marketing Strategy for customer retention. The more products a customer uses from a brand, the less likely they will switch to a competitor. Remember it costs more to obtain new customers that it does to keep existing ones.

Cross-Selling & Up-Selling

Sales and Customer service teams can also help with cross and up-selling by sharing promotion and new offerings with customers. The Sales and customer service functions of brands are essential to creating a great experience for customers.

Marketing Automation and AI

Salesforce is rolling out a Customer Success cloud where Sales, Marketing and Customer Success can track the Customer Journey across the organization. Each function of the organization can create tasks for the other to make sure the customer does not fall through the cracks. I saw a demonstration at Salesforce World Tour.

This is how brands can integrate sales and customer service teams into their Content Marketing and automation strategy. How are you using content from sales and customer service teams to help your brand retain customers? What are the goals of your brands content marketing efforts?

Feel free to comment and share.

Additional Resources

https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2017/06/fourth-annual-state-of-marketing-report.html

Salesforce 2017 State of Marketing overview

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include Start Ups, Political Campaign and a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing and Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content and Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

 

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Will EdTech/E-Learning CEO’s/CMO’s Improve Learning for Teachers & Students?

p1000303-1.jpgEdTech & E-Learning companies are doing great work. However, I have identified a gap in their marketing strategy that could leave them vulnerable to competitors. None and in some cases very few of the people in the Marketing function of the organization were former Teachers. You can do a search on LinkedIn to verify this.

I acknowledge that EdTech & E-Learning has former Teachers in the Sales and PD functions.

Why it is not Good enough to just place Teachers in Sales

Sales teams have to use consistent company messaging when presenting products to prospects and customers. Also, PD teams are not skilled at Sales and objection handling.

Market Research /SWOT

One Company, a major competitor of all of the others in the space, has Teachers working in every Marketing function which is an edge they can use against the company in a “we were Teachers once” Marketing campaign.

Teachers need to be in the Marketing function of the organization because they are the practitioners who can make the product messaging more credible and compelling. This new improved messaging will help build connection with the buyer because the buyer sees a Teacher-to-Teacher connection.

Our Teacher’s, Students & School administrators deserve better resources that are constructed by former Teachers at every level.

Why Hire Teacher practice experts in Marketing?

  • They are the customers and understand the pain points better than any market research -should be in leadership roles
  • Healthcare does this with Doctors, Dentists
  • Tech does this with programmers and engineers.

Why not EdTech!

Additional Teacher Skill sets that will be useful in Marketing

  • Can increase Sales because they are the customer and understand the pain points because they have experienced them in the job
  • understands how people learn
  • skilled at tailoring content for understanding based on learning needs
  • Today’s marketing is about educating customer and earning the right to market to them as teachers can educate customers
  • This is the best market research/ buyer persona there is!

My Qualifications

I would be an excellent fit for a Marketing role due to the following:

  • Teacher Practice expert with 6+ years of experience (SPED & GEN ED, part time, Adult ED and full-time experience)
  • Former Outside Sales Rep which allows me to create messaging to preemptively stop most sales objections
  • Can help with Sales Enablement/coaching/go on selected sales calls to improve the sales process
  • Experienced EdTech Marketer
  • Can build a better talent brand by building out your career site with employee stories
  • Create and establish new markets along with helping to create new product offerings that complement existing ones
  • Experienced online audience builder
  • I have built up a large audience with 11, 000+ followers on WordPress
  • Over 16,000+ followers on LinkedIn along with a following of 1,900+ on an EdTech Twitter handle @NYEDTechTeacher
  • Understand the customer behavior and pain points of Teachers and Principals

Support I need from EdTech & E-Learning Companies

I am asking EdTech and E-Learning companies for the opportunity to come on-site to speak about my qualifications. This will help me demonstrate how I can help them improve the learning experience of our students.

Support I need from Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents

Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents, comment below about the improvements you would like to see from EdTech & E-Learning companies. Please share this article and ask for change. I can’t do it alone. If I can join the Marketing function, I will help to improve EdTech and E-Learning to help the learner of tomorrow.

It is all about making our students lives better.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Here are the slides.

 

10 Ways to Build an Audience & Grow a Customer Base

There are many ways to grow an audience and build a customer base.

Here are 10 strategies for you to grow your audience and build a customer base.

1. Starting a Blog based on Buyer Personas

Create a blog within your website focusing on customer pain points discovered in your buyer personas.

Image via http://www.garrisoneverest.com/inbound-marketing-2/how-to-implement-inbound-marketing/

2.Use Social Media to share Blog Content

Share the content of this blog on Social Media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc….

3. Employees LinkedIn Company Pages & LinkedIn profiles

Start publishing on your LinkedIn company page. Also, encourage employees publish and share content to their LinkedIn profiles if you are not doing so.

4. Content Repurposing

http://bluepolointeractive.com/ 

Repuropse blog content in the following ways: On SlideShare,

http://www.whitehatmedia.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/linkedin-buys-slideshare.jpg?itok=PZQMLnYm

YouTube videos, podcasts, ebooks, whitepapers, newsletters, webinars etc…

5. User Groups

Create a user group on LinkedIn, and Facebook to facilitate discussion of your product and service.

6. Twitter Chats

Host Live Twitter chats on topics that are important to your customers

7. Using Groups to organize and announce off-line events

Use LinkedIn and Facebook groups to organize off-line events such as trade shows; invite customers to provide in person testimonials to prospects.

8. Stay In front of Customers

Be where your customers are, share a value message based on Market Research,Customer Analysis, Big Data Analytics and Competitive analysis.

https://marketingtruth.wordpress.com/category/analytics/

Image via http://smartdraw.com

9. Content  & Customer Retention

Create content to keep current customers engaged; share new features and ways they can get the most out of your product or service. Use the content to stay in the mind of customers.

http://www.invespcro.com/blog/customer-acquisition-retention/

Use your blog and product check out to ask customers to opt in to your marketing messages. Once you obtain permission, you can create email marketing campaigns targeted to subscriber needs and interests.

10. Develop Marketing Partnerships & Relationships

Strength comes in numbers. It helps to have other noncompeting businesses with complementary products promoting your product and services. These businesses can have a similar customer base and audience that can help your business.

Cross promote partner content/offerings on Social Media and at events to facilitate a reciprocal relationship.

Bonus Tips Statistics & Related Content

http://www.marketingcloud.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/audience_infographic_w640.png 

How have you built an audience and customer base?

Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 15,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 10,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

 

Customer Marketing: What We Can Learn from Actors

What Actors Can Teach us About Customer Marketing

Image via Garrison Everest

When Actors land a role to play, they need to memorize their lines but for their delivery to be believable, they need to become the character. Actors become the character they play by doing research. This research is conducted by: reading books/watching videos about the life of the character, conducting interviews with the real life person if they are alive and/or meeting with people who knew them.

From this research, actors can identify the strengths, weaknesses, challenges and pain points in this persons life; all of which can help them successfully become this person.

How this Research is applied to Customer Marketing 

Successful Marketers have to conduct similar research to identify their target customer. For Marketing to be successful, businesses must understand their target market; analyzing their ideal customer similar to what Actor need to do.

To analyze this ideal customer, businesses need to do research to understand the life of their ideal customer. The result of this research is known as a Buyer Persona. According to research conducted by MarkteingSherpa: Marketers generated 171 % more revenue as result of using buyer personas.

According to research by the Buyer Persona Institute in 2016:

1.27% of businesses have no buyer persona

2. 44% of businesses have a buyer persona

3. interest in having buyer personas is growing as 29%  of businesses surveyed said will have them in the next year.

Creating a Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a guide to understanding the needs, challenges and pain points of customers.

Questions to ask

What are these customer’s habits?

What concerns, needs and challenges do they have?

What actions are customers taking to address their needs and challenges?

Why do customers need to take these actions?

This question may be applied to multiple action steps described in Hooked by Nir Eyal as the 5 Whys.

What makes them want to buy?

Where do they look for information?

What type of content and medium do they use access the information?

What days and times are they most likely to look for information and consume content?

It is important to note that businesses with multiple products and more than one target market will need to create buyer personas for each ideal customer.

image via Content Marketing Institute /Bigstock

Where to obtain information on the Ideal Customer

1. Interview current customers and prospects.

2. Send out targeted surveys via email, direct mail and on Social Networks. Offer incentives such as gift cards and discounts to encourage people to provide the information needed.

3. Read biography and history books about your ideal customer.

4. Study the news.

5. Study existing research conducted by Market Research firms.

Building buyer personas will result in:

1. Creating and implementing  better and more targeted product messaging and communication

2. Getting the product in front of customers who truly will benefit from its use

This is how to create a Buyer Persona.

How are you using your buyer personas? Comment below.

Article sources & images

Garrison Everest

Content Marketing Institute 

MarketingSherpa.com/intecnic.com

Related article

Inbound 101

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. Hubspot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 13,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 8,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

 

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