McKinsey and Company recently published “An incumbent’s guide to digital disruption.” In the guide, they suggest that all incumbent businesses are susceptible to digital disruption and the four phases that executives should be aware of and plan for so as not to go the way of the dodo bird. Siting examples for the music, newspaper, and travel industries, McKinsey charts the path of creative disruption. Below is my interpretation for small to mid-sized B-to-B firms, having lived through digital’s onslaught of the advertising business.Continue reading
As paid search advertising becomes more intrusive, organic search listings have become more illusive.
Depending on your browser search engine preference, you may have noticed a change in the SERP (Search Engine Page Results) for organic listings.
This is due to the fact that search engines make their money from paid search advertising and because of this, more page space is being allocated to paid search results at the top, bottom, and side bar of the browser window. Continue reading
In all the clutter being injected into business-to-business marketing, it seems that the quaint idea of the brand promise has been forgotten. Yet there are some large global consumer brands that invest untold time, treasure, and resources to define their differentiated brand experience and articulate it across their industry segments to ensure powerful and consistent customer communications.Continue reading
Applying sales methodology to the marketing cycle
Developing an online revenue cycle requires a structured approach in which marketing and sales work together. Marketo, in their Marketing Metrics & Analytic Guide, describes their revenue cycle and offers a pictorial example of their sales funnel. Below is my interpretation of their revenue cycle for small to mid-sized B-to-B brands that would like to apply ROI metrics to their inbound marketing efforts.Continue reading
The longer the sales cycles, the more important the relationship becomes
Business-to-business marketing has always been about establishing a relationship with the prospect. One reason for this is most considered purchases involve multiple parties, resulting in extended sales cycle time. With the new technology of programmatic buying and selling of digital advertising inventory, ad technology companies would like for you to believe that a constant barrage of banner ads will substitute for a relationship built on trust.Continue reading
Inbound marketing can help identify your best prospects
I’m reading a lot these days about the disconnect between marketing and sales. The story goes something like this: Marketing generates leads and hands them over to sales. Sales says the leads are worthless because the prospect has not been qualified as to purchasing intent and does not have an immediate need.Continue reading
Social marketing is changing the way customers interact with your brand
My theory on why the aviation industry has been slow to adopt and implement social marketing is because aviation manufacturers are stuck in the mindset of business-to-business instead of people-to-people marketing.
The business-to-business (B2B) mindset is based on selling products and services to accounts. Contrast that mindset with people-to-people (P2P) where the emphasis is focused on improving the customer experience. Customers no longer measure brands based on message, but on interactions they have with them.
Aviation marketers that have successfully adopted social marketing understand that delivering on the brand promise can be done effectively on social platforms. Take a look at Jet Blue, Southwest, or Virgin America Airlines. Each one has been able to get tangible results through social marketing about how well they deliver on their brand promise.
Aviation marketers that choose to ignore the power of social marketing run the risk of becoming a second tier brand by not being able to monitor the customer experience in an unadulterated environment.
8 behaviors required to enhance the customer experience:
- Good customer relation management (CRM) starts with good traditional CRM. You cannot expect to improve CRM by adding a social component if the legacy CRM platform was not good to begin with.
- Customers expect more. Resolution of problems is a given. Now, customers expect a brand to be proactive within the community of users.
- Build customer empathy at all levels of interaction. This should be the golden rule for sales, marketing and customer service – Treat customers as you would like to be treated yourself.
- Everyone is a representative of the brand. It only takes one bad experience to drive a customer to a competitor.
- Talk with the customer, not at the customer. Customers can tell when the conversation is scripted. Authentic conversation starts with empathy for the customer’s situation and offer of a resolution based on a thorough understanding of the product and service offering.
- Don’t leave customers waiting. We live the era of real time engagement. Responding to a customer service issue in 24 hours is not acceptable.
- Use social media platforms for problem solving. Enabling self-help through social platforms spreads knowledge and customer feedback across the community of users.
- Change the way you measure customer satisfaction. Backward looking measurements that tell you what happened are no longer as effective. Consider a forward looking measurement like a net promoter score that tells you how satisfied your customer is with your service or product offering.
People-to-people marketing is the measure of brand engagement. Creating trust through conversation and helping customers solve problems builds brand loyalty.
I’m interested in hearing from my fellow aviation marketers. What have been your greatest challenges in implementing social marketing? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.