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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2018 Marketing Job Search & Networking

http://gettinghiredweb.s3.amazonaws.com/Community/Blog

http://gettinghiredweb.s3.amazonaws.com/Community/Blog

Dear WordPress Followers:

Happy Holidays and thank you for your support.

Are you hiring for roles in Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Product Marketing, Content Marketing, Customer Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Lead Gen, Demand Gen, Retention Marketing, Sales Enablement, Talent Branding and Employer Branding?

My combined experience in Sales, Marketing, Social Media, helping Customers and Classroom Teaching makes me a top Marketing hire.

Hiring?

Contact me via LinkedIn or E-Mail to set up interviews.

If you are not hiring, share this with people who are hiring.

See how I’ll improve your Sales, Revenue and Organization using Marketing.

Thanks,

Dan

Dan@dangalante.com

Website http://www.dangalante.com

Blog http://www.dangalante.me/

LinkedIn https://lnkd.in/axcFbC

SlideShare https://lnkd.in/gQsFf3

Twitter https://lnkd.in/VAcvXh

InboundCertified by HubSpot

Dan

Email Dan@dangalante.com

7 Takeaways from My Paper.li #Bizheroes Chat

7 Takeaways from My #Bizheroes Chat

I recently lead a discussion on building and maintaining a LinkedIn audience on Paper.li’s #Bizheroes Chat.

Here are 7 Takeaways in case you missed the chat:

Q1. How do we start building an audience in LinkedIn? What are the first steps?

The first thing you can do to start building a LinkedIn audience is to have a complete LinkedIn profile. People need to trust you before they will listen. Connect with people and build up your network. As people are more likely to read an article from someone with connections as opposed to someone with zero.

Q2. What kind of content delights LinkedIn users? How is it different from a regular blog?

Content that delights LinkedIn users are How to articles, articles on News and Industry Trends.  It is important to have a great headline that will catch the reader’s attention along with content that supports it.

LinkedIn is different from a blog in terms of SEO because users can only use three tags where as a blog user can use an unlimited amounts of tags. Also, the user owns their blog in terms of branding and content where LinkedIn owns the content on their platform. However, LinkedIn has over 400 million users and is the largest business publishing platform.

Q3. Are there any rules we should follow when trying to attract an audience on LI?

When trying to attract an audience, it is important to write with your audience in mind.

Ask the following questions:

What is your objective for writing and publishing content?

Who is your target audience?

What types of content do they find valuable?

Also, curate content from people in your industry, influencers & non influencers. This will help to build a relationship where they will share your content if they think it is valuable.

LinkedIn provides suggestions when you share a post. It is a good idea to check the channels for your industry as LinkedIn has many specialized channels for content.

Q4. How do we make sure we’re attracting the right audience?

See who is sharing/engaging with your content. Is your target audience sharing it? Examine content that gets shared in your industry.

Q5. How can you use LinkedIn to market yourself or your business?

Users can create business pages, groups and most importantly keep creating and sharing content/relevant insights. Remember the audience determines what is relevant.

Q6 Is there a way to share your own work without being too self-promotional?

Use SlideShare for content repurposing as it is great to embed in posts, use videos along with text, pictures etc… This will allow you to put a different spin on your work; changing things up with your audience.

In my posts, I share links to relevant articles I wrote on the topic.

At the bottom of each post, I create an about the author section. This gives the reader a choice if they want to learn more and does not compromise the quality of my work.

Q7 How can we try and build relationships and then take them off of LinkedIn?

Users can use LinkedIn groups and messages to share relevant insights, conferences and networking events with connections.

How have you built and maintained an audience on LinkedIn?

Share and comment below.

Related Articles

How to Build an Audience on LinkedIn Pulse

How to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for Storytelling

How to Build a Brand on LinkedIn

How to Integrate SlideShare into a Content Marketing Strategy

How to Integrate a Blog into an Inbound Marketing Strategy

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up, Political Campaign & 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 & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, 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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Why Inbound Marketing Should Not Take a Back Seat to Current Customers

Inbound Marketing is a valuable strategy businesses can use to obtain new customers. Inbound Marketing is defined as Marketing based on getting found by customers. It’s customer-centric. With Inbound Marketing, businesses create customer-centric content based on customers needs. Content could take the form of blogs, videos & SEO.

In a prior article, I outline the 4 Steps which are Attract, Concert, Close and Delight. 

image via hubspot.com/inbound-marketing

Why Inbound Marketing should not take a back seat to Current Customers

Recently, I read an article that advocated that Inbound Marketing should take a backseat to your current customers. While it is less expensive to keep, nurture and up-sell/cross-sell current customers, businesses need to always be on the hunt for new customers. Despite the fact that it costs 5 times the amount to acquire a new customer verses keeping an existing one, it is an expense that businesses need to take on.

This is because businesses will always lose a portion of their customer base for a variety of reasons as seen in this graph.

image via http://www.superoffice.de/blog-de/kundenpflege/

According to Marketing at Work, the average business loses about 10 to 25 percent of its customer base every year. 

What happens if businesses start Ignoring customer acquisition?

  •  If a business loses 25 percent of its customer base it will have no customers after 4 years
  • At a 10 percent loss rate it will have no customers after 10 years

Through great service, word of mouth, & customer referrals; businesses may be able to extend their life. This then becomes an issue of how fast they can replace the lost customers. Relying on these methods alone puts undo pressure on customers and they may get turned off by being constantly asked to refer people. This may result in more customer turnover.

The Solution

As we have seen, focusing only on customer acquisition and customer retention is a losing game.

Done right, Inbound Marketing should be combined with Content Marketing because current customers still need to be nurtured after the sale. Businesses can only expect referrals and repeat business if customers:

  • Feel valued & receive great service

Businesses can apply the principles of Inbound Marketing for customer retention in the following ways:

1. Create Blog content Specifically for customers

  • Supply customers with exclusive access to blog content with useful tips and tricks for customers to get the most out their purchase.
  • Offer customers discounts
  •  Make reordering easy
  • Make customers feel like insiders.

2. Get customers to opt into user specific content via email

  • Ask customers for this commitment right when they sign up and commit
  • Make sure to create valuable content as customer attention is a gift
  • Remember that the customer defines value

3. Create Communities such as exclusive user groups 

  • Groups can be created on Social Networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and specialized forums on a company site.
  • Use these groups to share content and invitations to customer only events.

4. Create free industry trends sites that don’t sell anything

  • This is a great way businesses can position themselves as a resource
  • These sites can be shared with both current customers and prospects.
  • Adobe does a great job with their CMO.com site which provides content and insights to CMO’s and marketing professions.

How have you used Inbound Marketing for customer retention? Share and comment.

Related articles

Inbound 101

Customer Marketing: What We Can Learn from Actors

Ways to Create & Execute an Organic Digital Marketing Strategy for Lead Gen

How to Integrate a Blog into an Inbound Marketing Strategy

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up, Political Campaign & 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 publish a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, 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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