CMO Perspectives (24th Oct, 2014)

Doing well by doing good. Some marketers would dismiss the notion as wishy-washy. But in today’s era of customer engagement, a company that is perceived as treating employees well and caring about social issues is much more likely to have loyal customers. And loyalty is vital: a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%. Although customers these days are less loyal than ever (witness the rapid downfall of Nokia), they will develop an intense loyalty to up to five brands that they feel emotionally attached to. Often these brands have a well-publicized social responsibility program: e.g. Ben & Jerry’s or Lululemon. In other words, doing good helps your company do well.

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The Art and Science of Embracing Engagement for Bottom Line Results []

The word engagement doesn’t just mean the period before a couple gets married, or engagé in the French sense, which refers to a politically or socially active artist or writer.

In marketing circles, engagement refers to a specific school of thought that arose in the 1990’s. Research in Sears stores showed that the more engaged employees were, the better the financial results. Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, in their 1993 book The One to One Future, were among the early proponents of customer-focused marketing, rather than product- and process-focused marketing.

The author of this piece, Bruce Bolger, argues that engagement is becoming increasingly mainstream. For instance, more than half a dozen conferences on engagement were held last year in the U.S., and a growing number of companies, including industry leaders Astra Zeneca and Pepsico, have executives with the term “engagement” in their title.

44 Facts Defining the Future of Customer Engagement for Marketing []

This SlideShare presentation offers a wealth of important facts for marketers. In a changing customer landscape, these slides present a reminder of what you need to do to retain, engage, and cultivate your relationships with customers.

For instance, one slide reveals that a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%. Another fascinating fact is that customer retention is 14% higher in companies applying big data and analytics to deal velocity. Meanwhile, 52% say Facebook is the most effective social channel for customer service. This presentation provides 41 more facts to surprise, delight and engage you.

Five reasons customer loyalty is decreasing - and what you can do about it []

Some say the old days of long-term customer loyalty are over. A typical consumer will now switch brands without hesitation if they get a better offer. The famous rule of 20% of customers accounting for 80% of the turnover has turned into more like 60/40 rule (40% of the customers generate 60% of the turnover) and it is slowly evolving towards a 50/50 rule where loyal and disloyal customers generate the same amount of income.

What’s different today is that even top brands are no longer able to retain their status as market leaders for long periods. Just look at how quickly many of Nokia’s loyal customers jumped ship to Apple or Samsung.

Research shows, however, that customers will invest emotionally in up to five brands. The author Steven Van Belleghem calls this a “brand paradox,” where people will wholeheartedly buy into specific brands, while putting less trust in brands in general. Companies that attract that kind of loyalty do three things right: they’re good to their customers, good to their employees, and good to society.

3 Reasons Employee Advocacy Is The New Marketing Paradigm []

How do marketers expand their reach without asking for an increased budget? The author argues that companies can tap an underutilized resource: their employees.

Even though content marketing is all the rage nowadays, making “human connections” is in fact more effective than producing content. Employers should empower all their employees, not just the marketing team, to reach out on social media. Companies that block social media through the corporate network are making a big mistake, says the author Bernie Borges. In fact, Borges says you should encourage your employees to promote your product from their personal social media accounts, in a way that feels authentic to them. That might seem like too much for some companies, Borges concedes, but in the connected age, the lines are blurred between the personal and professional brand. Rather than fight a battle that can’t be won, he argues, companies should harness employee advocacy as a business strategy.

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