A wide gulf exists between companies and customers on their perceptions of the "customer experience," according to a new study, "The Consumer Conversation: The Experience Void Between Companies and their Customers." Closing this "experience void" can reduce costly customer turnover by anticipating and resolving issues and building deeper engagement.
I used to say that when my grandmother begins talking about something, that shows it's now mainstream. With the recent Apple Watch and wearables rage, the connected experience is going mainstream, with more of a lifestyle impact that moves past travel and weather. Still, this trend begs the question: Are we prepared for multi-modal means of communicating? Are we using these modes in meaningful ways?
A recent article in "The Wall Street Journal" referenced rumblings about Google potentially launching an advertising product similar to Facebook Custom Audiences. While Google has not officially commented on its plans, it's plausible that the tech giant would follow in the steps of Facebook, which has seen impressive advertising revenue growth in recent years.
On April Fools' Day, Forbes ran a story about how Congress was considering a tax on email by amending the Internet Tax Freedom Act the next time it comes up for renewal. It was a great gag, and while I think there's zero chance of any kind of email tax coming into being, it's interesting to think about how the email marketing industry would change if some kind of tax were levied.
Over the years, I have experienced my fair share of email content with misinformation: incorrect birthdays, incorrect first name and even wildly wrong product purchases when a brand is following up with cross-sell/up-sell messages. I'm sure we have all seen this problem. But sometimes it's just so wrong that one's loyalty is called into question.
The California drought and email marketing have two things in common: Both are beset by scarce resources, and people often focus more on trivial actions rather than major initiatives to try to fix them. There's a name for this: "bike-shedding." It's a corollary to Parkinson's Law of Triviality, which claims that organizations, when faced with decision-making for very large and strategic projects, often spend more time on unimportant but easily understood solutions (how to build an employee bike shed) than on difficult or complex ones (how to build a power plant).
How do you engage your audience, effectively embedding your brand without impairing how the consumer perceives your brand? Think about the context of the media, not just the social or viral value. And think about how you could possibly develop cool content fast enough to even consider moving in this direction.
Marketers are deeply challenged with trying to meet the demands of today's consumers. Why? Because consumer expectations are leaps and bounds ahead of the experiences that marketers are able to implement. A shortage of IT resources, and the challenge of making sense of massive amounts of data and building a sophisticated, automated marketing ecosystem have backed many marketers into a corner. Fear not, though. Here are quick wins that marketers can implement whether or not they have a lot of technical resources at the ready.
Email marketing blogs and mailing lists are full of best practices born of many years of experience by many smart, hard-working email marketing practitioners. While these best practices can be extremely useful, in some cases advice is given without a lot of serious analysis. By looking at actual data, we've found that one thing becomes clear: Best practices aren't always right. Let me give you two examples.
When you understand how your customers move from research to purchase to loyalty stages of the customer journey, you can explore new messaging or overhaul your current programs to make your emails more helpful and relevant. Even as you move away from overt promotion in all messages, you're never going to stop using email to sell. However, to break through inbox clutter successfully, you need to provide content that adds value at each stage of the journey.