They do it by talking about and engaging with topics and content that will make their customers smarter. Or they share tidbits that are fun and engaging, and share the love. These are the secrets of successful corporate blogs - and I’ll share then in less than a thousand words.
Branding as a strategy means little if the customer experience is not there. If your story doesn’t align with what you do, all of the clever tactics you can come up with to follow your lofty goal will not make the cut.
Unless you can fix your story by inspiring a culture of service from the inside. You instill a belief as well as make an example of behaviors to follow throughout the organization. You know that this cannot just be a grassroots effort, it needs to come all the way from the top.
AdAge writes an interesting article about going beyond online ads to eCommerce opportunities for CPG brands. Will it pay off? Services are easier to deliver online. A few product dot-bombs in the early 2000s made us keenly aware of that.
One of the companies mentioned in the article is Alice.com. Their model is to connect customers to companies directly. But this is not their main story.
Many marketers spend a considerable amount of time calculating the ROI of campaigns by looking at cost per lead (CPL) or Web conversion numbers. You are probably quite smart yourself to the ways of lead nurturing and its importance in branding and customer acquisition. Those are known costs of doing business these days.
Yet many companies fall apart when it comes to opportunity costs.
There is a good relationship between innovation and failure. As Monica Harrington shares, Microsoft Bob gave plenty of very smart people a run for their money - and lessons to take to their next project. Those are familiar lessons. Building on Harrington’s:
They’re at the opposite ends of the conversation spectrum. The show context is that of media and advertising, two areas that are undergoing rapid change - some would call it a decline. Mad Men captivated the public’s imagination by its depiction of a long gone era - dare I say with a tinge of nostalgia?
There is a reason why this publication is called Fast Company. The US has an even shorter attention span than many places I’ve had the fortune of spending time in. I’ve been writing about customer conversation here for more than 18 months and I don’t get tired of saying it - fluency in customer conversation is a key business driver, one that will make or break a company’s tenure at the economic table.
Usually it’s the customers who give you deadlines - and sometimes ultimatums - on service. Needing something done by, support within “x” time, service at “y” time and place. What would happen if you turned that concept on its head and gave yourself a deadline instead?
You could just ask, but that wouldn’t give you a product or service worth the money you might put into it - 50 to 90% of the product and service initiatives by US companies are failures. This costs in the magnitude of $100b per year.
And that’s taking into account that these companies have adopted customer-driven thinking. Innovation needs to be outcome-driven to create breakthrough products and services, writes Anthony Ulwick in What Customers Want.
Sharing the data you collect about a customer with that customer may be your single most important gesture of transparency - not to mention that it may give you the ability to convert more of those conversations.
I found the story while reading the Sunday edition of the Inquirer and it caught my eye. When a Sprint customer requested an itemized bill, the company refused to send the information. The answer, after some considerable waffling: