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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EdTech’s Growthhacking Guide

Image via schooldata.com

Trends in Education are changing. This will provide a great Opportunity for EdTech Companies to improve Education while increasing Sales and Revenue. If you are in EdTech, looking to get into this $13,190,456, 456,848 K-12 Market not to mention the opportunities in Higher Education; read my LinkedIn post to find out more.

 

2017 Media Preview of The New York Auto Show

There are countless exhibits at the New York Auto Show that showcased many innovations and technological advances in the automotive industry. An example of the industry innovation is Hyundai’s Blue Link a collaboration with Google to integrate Google Assistant into its 2018 vehicles.

After two days of coverage on the press preview days, I am going to share my favorite product unveils and displays.

Mercedes unveil

North America Premiere Porsche 911 GT3 Premiere and Panamera Sport Turismo at 2017 NYIAS

Honda Clarity unveil 2017 NYIAS

Hyundai Sonata Design Experience at 2017 NYIAS

Toyota FT-4X Unveil at 2017

To see more pictures and videos, go to my Facebook/Twitter pages @DanGalante.

If you are in the New York area, checkout the New York Auto Show. The New York International Auto Show is open to the public from Friday, April 14th to Sunday, April 23rd, 2017. Tickets cost $17 for Adults, $7 for Children, pricing for groups and tours can be found on the website. For more information go to http://www.autoshowny.com.

What cars and trucks do you want to see at the show? If you have attended the show, what was your favorite exhibit?

Comment below.

How Tech Can Gain Market Share with the Teacher of Tomorrow

During my time in field sales, I wanted to obtain the business of Dental Schools and Hospitals. After obtaining meetings and making presentations to prominent Dentists, I was informed that they could not buy from me. After handling objections, showing how my offerings were better than the competition; I got to the heart of the matter. The decision makers explained to me that they were under contract with large manufacturers and distributors.

In fact, these competitors were offering deep discounts to dental schools so their students would get comfortable using their products. When these students would become licensed Dentists, they would use the products they trained on instead of the competitors. These competitors build life-long customer loyalty.

When I called on certain Dentists in their offices, they said they liked a particular company’s product. I asked them why they liked the product and would they consider switching for something comparable with faster service. The Dentists said no saying that they learned on particular equipment in Dental School and it was the only thing they felt comfortable using.

Image via http://www.matthewsonmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/chap-1-fig-2-geoffrey-moore-tech-adopt-curve1.png?w=580

Geoffrey Moore discusses the Technology life cycle in Crossing the Chasm.

Dental manufactures and large distributors used pricing to target the Innovators/Early adopters/which in this case was the dental students and hospitals. To increase market share, they offered discounted pricing in exchange for purchase and long service contracts. These manufacturers and distributors succeeded in targeting dental students right before they would become customers; earning them years of customer loyalty.

How this applies to EdTech & E-Learning

This strategy can be applied to the EdTech/E-Learning market because there are many companies that serve this space but only a few companies that dominate the market. The opportunity to target Innovators/Early adopters like I described above presents itself as the United States Department of Education is asking for Education Technology to be embedded into K-12 teacher preparation programs.

 

image via http://elearninginfographics.com/wp-content/uploads/21st_century_classroom.jpg

EdTech/E-Learning companies have the chance to improve the Teaching profession and generate life-long customer loyalty. This opportunity can be seized by offering discounted pricing and free trials to Innovators/Early Adopters which in this case are the teacher preparation programs.

Here is how this marketing program could be executed on the Technology Life cycle curve.

Innovators Teacher Preparation programs

Offer teacher preparation programs discounted pricing and free trials to try the product.

Have pre-service Teachers/Admins get comfortable using the product

Early Adopters Rookie Teachers/Admins

Offer them free trials and a lower discount.

Early/Late Majority Seasoned Teachers/Admins

Offer Trials and discounts to targeted staff and Administrators, Lead Teachers and Instructional Coaches.

Laggards Senior Staff Members

Continue to innovate the product and messaging to show how the product is being used.

Obtain Testimonials from satisfied Teachers and Administrators.

Show how the product exceeds competitors.

This is how EdTech/E-Learning companies can improve the Teaching profession and generate life-long customer loyalty.

What EdTech/E-Learning product do you want to try?

Comment and share below.

About the Author

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

Prior to serving as a Classroom teacher, 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 17,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 13,000 on WordPress.

Dan’s articles & insights on Sales, Marketing & Social Media have been featured, mentioned & referenced in major Business Publications such as:

The Arizona Republic

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/handle-top-10-sme-sales-objections-24845.html

Twitter Ads Blog

https://blog.twitter.com/2014/how-smartphone-users-engage-on-twitter-three-key-findings

Yahoo! Finance Blog

https://es.finance.yahoo.com/blogs/fintechnologiayredeses/cueva-arma-secreta-obama-110427857.html

Paper.li’s Wall Of Fame via Scoop.it

http://www.scoop.it/t/all-things-paper-li/?tag=Dan+Galante

Dan has been honored for his Social Profiles & Content

•Recognized by Klout for having a Score putting him in the Top 10 % of Social Media Users

•LinkedIn Social Selling Index Score in the Top 1%

•Honored by SlideShare for being in the top 5% of profiles viewed in 2014

•Honored by LinkedIn in 2012 for being in the top 1% of profiles viewed out of 200 million members

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to be a CMO to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. Contact him to set up interviews. dan@dangalante.com

How to be a CMO & Create the Marketing Function of an Organization

EY-the-average-cmo.JPG

image via http://www.ey.com/gl/en/services/advisory/ey-dna-of-sales-and-marketing-leaders-reinvention-of-the-cmo#.WCsll-YrLIU

The role of CMO needs to focus on more than just marketing to increase sales as seen in this chart.

Image via http://blog.marketo.com/2007/04/are_you_a_cmo_o.html

To have success in the CMO role, you need to: get executive buy in on authority and the ability to make changes, otherwise you are doomed to fail.

Brand Message and Content Marketing

From a brand stand point, the brand messaging need to be in alignment. It should not take a genius to understand what your product does and how it will help the customer. To achieve this goal, you need to do the following: Audit, understand and improve Brand message, voice, sales, marketing collateral, print and digital properties.

Do the above before starting a content marketing program if the organization sells products because you will need to build and create a content tilt to be found by customers in search.

Developing Sales Processes and Shortening the Sales Cycle

Sales Managers hired; should train sales staff properly and hold Reps accountable to hit Revenue Goals. If you are tasked with creating/building out the marketing function of the organization, make sure that support staff are trained by the Sales Manager to handle inbound leads. Sales staff should be trained on objection handling, prospecting, product knowledge, making Sales, post Sales follow up and obtaining repeat business.

SMarketing

Have marketing partner with Sales. Go on Sales calls to understand customer objections /pain points to improve messaging and product. The goal of any Sales and Marketing program is to shorten sales cycles and increase Revenue.

Defining Your Target Market and Sales Channels

Audit, understand, and improve the sales structure of the organization, sales operations and sales processes. Define Sales Rep territories, compensations and commission structure using analysis that includes data from customer acquisition costs and ROI.

Decide if you will sell your product directly to customers or through re-sellers. Some companies do both.

Sales Management/Sales Reps

Hopefully if there is Sales Leadership at the company when you arrive, this will be handled. If no Sales people are present, start this process yourself and hire a seasoned rep or Manager from a larger competitor. If Sales leadership is there but has not done the above, give them a Sales Leadership improvement plan, look for a seasoned replacement and fire them. This applies to Sales Reps as well.

Market Research

Understand customers and buyer behaviors.

Share buyer personas and research with the sales staff.

image via smartdraw.com

Have sales staff complete a competitive analysis on how your company stacks up against your competition in the marketplace.

Product Development

Use Market Research to collaborate with product to come up with ideas for new products, features, promotions and pricing strategy.

Crossing the Chasm and Selling into New Markets

image via http://4.bp.blogspot.com/

Identify new markets to sell into. If Sales are stagnant, find a way to get in front of your customers before they become customers by using pricing in a crossing the chasm style analysis.

Proving you’re a CMO

Position marketing a source of revenue rather than a cost by putting marketing at the center of the organization. Showing how marketing can make an impact on the income statement beyond increasing sales. Show how marketing makes the organization run better.

Talent Branding

Improve the talent brand by creating a job site with employee stories. This job site will increase the amount of applicants and reduce recruitment advertising costs. Write more appealing job descriptions.

Attempt to make the organization the company of tomorrow by making it cross functional.

Company Revenue and Financials

Ask about the financial health of the company i.e. Churn rate, burn rate, Profitably, funding etc…

image via pinterest.com/explore/churn-rate

Ask the CEO about cash flow and if they can commit large amounts of cash to developing/executing marketing programs.

image via http://www.accountingcoach.com/financial-ratios/explanation/4

Data Driven Decisions

Above all, CMO’s need to use Data from Financials, Sales, Revenue and Analytics to make marketing decisions. The Data needs to be used continuously to justify marketing decisions and to pivot when marketing programs are not working.

The duties of the CMO will vary by industry and company size but these are the basics that a CMO must do to be successful.

What do you think makes a successful CMO? Comment and Share.

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 Start Ups, a 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 16,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 11,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to be a CMO to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. 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.

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.