But a recent study, carried out by Marketing Management Analytics, Financial Executive and Ed See, makes me think that more senior marketing executives should double-check the shine on their resume and perhaps consider a few more networking lunches in the near future.
A very brief summary of that report found in Ad Age frightens me and brings to mind a few courses of action that you can take today, if you find yourself in a similar situation.
A recent article in the New York Times got me thinking about the psychology of marketing again, and how some basic principles are used or under-used in social media marketing.
“Warning: Habits May Be Good for You” explores how an anthropologist turned to marketing experts from CPG companies like Procter & Gamble to help increase the incidence of hand-washing with soap after using the toilet in the nation of Ghana to improve the health of children. Obviously, this was an important effort and I was encouraged to see marketing practitioners as instrumental in helping achieve success in this endeavor.
As I was reading the article, it struck me that many of the techniques used are found in Robert B. Cialdini‘s classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. I’d lent out my copy a few years ago and, thankfully, had to buy a new version which includes an epilogue written by Dr. Cialdini in 2007. My re-read then triggered a few thoughts on social media.
If the social media crowd can stop navel-gazing long enough to do some quick research and scientific work, boy will money be made. [More after the jump.]
Ever get email that just makes you wonder who’s minding the shop? I was looking to redeem some My Coke Rewards points for a free T-shirt and couldn’t find anything in my size. I filled out an on-site question and got a response back in 3 minutes.
This was good! Unfortunately it was a response that only told me they were going to respond and triggered some laughter on my part.
The email took me right back to the early days of the first CRM systems and looked like a programmer’s “default” response that nobody at Coke‘s vendor could be bothered to adjust. Well, it’s only been two years since the program launched, so perhaps I need to give them some time.
In all honesty, I truly believe that Coke will put the right sizes back in stock and I’ll be happy. I’ve never had anything other than a good experience with their products and practically marinade in Coke Zero. I just wish they’d read their emails before they sent them out.
Summary and key takeaways
Check all your customer communications by putting yourself in their place. That means log in at home, at night and do the strange and wonderful things that our customers do. See how you respond and see if it makes sense.
Put your customer communications on the wall. The best idea I’ve heard is to set up a room and lay out everything you do to communicate with your customers, in the order in which it’s sent. On the stuff that doesn’t make sense, is off brand strategy or just ugly, tag it with a red sticker. Then start punching through in priority order, particularly the things that hurt conversion or drive down ARPU or unit of sale.
Read my email chain with KO after the jump. photo credit: myuibe
You plan for offensive operations, while you prepare to play defense. You’ll find this concept in both warfare and sports, and it’s applicable in business as well.
I much prefer playing offense, because that’s where you score and generate revenues. A strong business offensive plan also limits the amount of places you’ll need to prepare to play defense, freeing up more resources for–you guessed it–playing more offense.
What’s an example of planning as opposed to preparations in a marketing context?
A great example can be found in the United States Postal Service and the annual postage increases. If you’re using direct mail as a marketing channel, you can be sure of two things:
Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L. Bean that is not completely satisfactory.
Unlike a lot of companies, L.L. Bean really lives by their guarantee.